Ward 1 Council member Ashby Foote wants the city of Jackson Parks and Recreation Department to find partners willing to help with the work it does.
He encouraged Ison Harris Jr., who was unanimously confirmed as director of the Parks and Recreation Department, to drum up partners that would find it beneficial to invest in the community.
“I would like to recommend that you reach out and build partnerships with businesses, civic clubs, neighborhood associations and the medical community,” Foote said.
Local medical centers would be a natural fit to partner with parks, Foote said, because they might offer wellness programs.
During the budgeting process earlier this year, the city council removed $200,000 from the Parks and Recreation Department and said plans are use it to fund curb and gutter cleanup work.
The Parks and Recreation Department had used the funds to pay for events such as Fourth of July fireworks, Easter egg hunts and Juneteenth. Harris was urged to find sponsors for those events.
Earlier this year, about 20 members of the North Jackson Rotary Club and the Millsaps College Rotaract Club spent a Saturday morning picking up trash, collecting fallen tree limbs, trimming hedges, freshening up the signage and spreading mulch at Parham Bridges Park, which is located at Ridgewood and Old Canton roads.
The city of Jackson has 57 city parks and facilities that cover 2,300 acres of land and include playgrounds, swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, picnic grounds and jogging and walking paths. In addition, the city’s facilities include community centers, Smith-Wills Stadium, Mynelle Gardens and the Jackson Zoo.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Athletics Division offers youth and adults softball, flag football, basketball and baseball leagues as well as swimming, golfing and tennis lessons.