We are fortunate in Bowling Green to have an abundance of parks.
The parks, which are spread throughout our city, provide a lot of people the chance to exercise, to play with their kids on the playground, to play sports and – at two parks – the chance to fish.
They are all beautiful parks, and we believe having the abundance of them makes our city a lot more attractive to those living here and those who are considering moving here.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department deserves much credit for these facilities’ upkeep and for bringing new ideas to our local government about what is needed at our parks and what can be added to them to draw more people.
Each year, the Bowling Green City Commission approves a Capital Improvement Program plan that outlines potential expenditures for the next three fiscal years on projects such as public facilities and infrastructure.
The CIP plan includes annual expenditures for things such as road paving and new sidewalks, but also outlines some potential major projects on the radar of the city’s parks department.
The largest of the potential projects comes in fiscal year 2023 – $1 million for a lazy river addition at the Russell Sims Aquatic Center. In recent years, parks and recreation has done a lot at the center, such as building new bathrooms and a concession and ticket building and expanding parking.
We think a lazy river would be a very nice addition to the Russell Sims Aquatic Center. The center is well used every year and adding a lazy river, although pretty pricey, would likely increase the number of people who come to the center every year for swimming.
We were also glad to hear that the city has now completed a driving range at the Golf Course at Riverview. We editorialized a while back that as the most underutilized and oldest golf course that the city owns, it was a good idea to close the golf course. However, we liked the city’s idea of putting a driving range there, since there are no other public driving ranges in our city.
The new driving range that opened this week sounds like a really nice one. It has 22 stalls and will be open from 8 a.m. to dark every day. The driving range will have clubs available to use, and a bucket of 35 balls will cost $4 and a bucket of 70 balls will cost $7.
Part of the land at Riverview is also being converted to a pay-to-play 18-hole disc golf course operated by Combat Disc Golf, a private company.
These all seem like nice additions to city-owned property. While the lazy river hasn’t yet been approved, we certainly hope it will be. We applaud the city and parks and recreation for being proactive and looking ahead to add things to our parks that will make them more attractive to more people.