The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department has been on an upward trajectory for a few years as it adds facilities and programming for county residents – from preschoolers to Social Security recipients.

Now, the department is literally taking flight with its latest offering: a drone flying area at Ephram White Park.

Demonstrating that his department doesn’t limit its recreation activities to gyms and ballfields, county Parks and Recreation Director Chris Kummer worked with the Southern Kentucky Multirotors group to provide a space for drone enthusiasts to fly their remote-controlled aircraft freestyle or in organized races.

The large area (150 yards by 200 yards) set aside at Ephram White has huge potential to help this high-tech hobby grow and help bring visitors and their investments to the Bowling Green area.

As SOKY Multirotors member Drew Fulkerson said, the flying area is a “good space that’s perfect for what we need for racing.”

Fulkerson and other local drone enthusiasts have long been forced to travel to Nashville, Owensboro or other cities in order to compete in the growing sport of drone racing. Now that Warren County will have its own racing venue, those hobbyists can come here.

As the many softball, baseball and basketball tournaments held in Warren County demonstrate, having first-class facilities can translate into a financial windfall as tournament teams stay in local hotels and visit our restaurants and attractions.

The parks department and fiscal court deserve credit for developing the ballfields and building the new gymnasiums at Buchanon and Ephram White parks that have enhanced recreational opportunities for county residents while making our community a destination for traveling teams.

The drone flying area represents just another enhancement that Kummer and his staff have brought to the parks department in recent months. An additional disc golf course and a new dog park – both brought to fruition largely because of business sponsorships – are among the projects designed to meet the needs of a growing county.

And more could be on the way. Responding to the needs identified by local sports enthusiasts, Warren Fiscal Court in February approved spending $88,520 to have Nashville’s Lose & Associates consulting firm conduct a feasibility study that could lead to building an indoor ice rink and an indoor tennis facility.

Like the drone flying area, the ice rink and tennis courts could go a long way toward meeting a demand in the county while making our community an attractive destination for hockey and tennis enthusiasts.

The feasibility study – which brought out impressive crowds to two public meetings – is wrapping up, and Kummer expects its findings to be presented to fiscal court later this month.

Like the drone flying area, the ice rink and tennis facility are worthy projects. And, like the disc golf course and the dog park, they’re great candidates for some sort of public-private partnerships.

We hope these new projects become the next to take flight.

 

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