Soccer field

All-inclusive playground, soccer field upgrades planned for Jackson Park

New all-inclusive playground equipment and soccer field upgrades are on the horizon for Jackson Park in Hendersonville.

The state awarded the county $200,000 for playground equipment and $300,000 for soccer fields, Henderson County Executive John Mitchell shared with the board of commissioners on Wednesday.

Commissioners approved a grant application for state capital investment fund grants earlier in March. A budget amendment was approved on Wednesday to accept the funding.

Parks and Recreation Director Carleen Dixon said the contract for the playground equipment is still being negotiated. She hopes the final contract will be presented to the commissioners in April for approval.

Dixon hopes to cut a ribbon for the playground this summer.

“Labour Day would be the latest,” she told the commissioners.

In December, the Department of Parks and Recreation asked the commissioners to approve a contract with the Community Foundation of Henderson County to raise funds to build an all-inclusive playground in the park.

“This is the same project that was announced in December 2021, our partners the Hendersonville Elks Lodge and Special Needs Sports have been working to raise money in our community to help fund this project,” Dixon told The Times-News. “The money allocated (Wednesday) will go a long way to making this playing field a reality.”

The old Jackson Park playground was removed in 2020 for safety reasons and has yet to be replaced.

At this time, it has not been determined exactly how the $300,000 for the soccer fields will be used, according to Dixon.

Jackson Park is the largest municipal park in western North Carolina, covering 220 acres.