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In 2017, Danville Parks and Recreation hosted five major special events, four races, two Farmers’ Market seasons, 23 teen basketball tournaments, two youth sports leagues, 39 paddling trips, and thousands of programs. In addition, the department installed a new section to the Riverwalk Trail, a new playground, bike lockers and 10 new art pieces on the Danville Art Trail.
“We had a very busy year and are proud of that,” Department Director Bill Sgrinia said. “We always strive to provide first-class services to the community. I believe we had a lot of positive accomplishments last year and I look forward to keeping the momentum going in 2018.”
Parks and Recreation recently completed its Annual Report as a way to communicate the highlights of last year to the public. The report period begins in the winter quarter of 2016-2017 and ends with data from the fall quarter of 2017.
“We know we had a lot of projects and programs going last year,” Sgrinia said. “We created this report to help us reflect on the year and plan ahead for the next. As always, we welcome the input of the community on how we can continue to fill needs and provide exceptional services.”
The Annual Report highlights participation numbers, completed projects, services rendered and community partnerships.
From December 2016 to November 2017, Danville Parks and Recreation hosted four community-wide events and a music series featuring six shows, all of which attracted around 25,000 people. Department staff also offered 1,069 programs that drew 45,559 participants.
“Obviously, participation numbers and program totals rank high on what we like to count,” Sgrinia said. “But we also take great pride in offering a wide-range of services and activities.”
Parks and Recreation is comprised of seven service areas including Administration, Community Recreation, Facilities and Services, Libraries, Parks Maintenance, Special Recreation, and Sports and Athletics.
Along with program totals, the report includes information regarding completed projects.
Last year, the department continued expansion of the Riverwalk Trail by adding a new section spanning behind Dan River Church to Commerce Street and installing trailhead signs along the trail. Parks and Recreation also replaced an outdated play structure at Doyle Thomas Park, added 10 new pieces to the Danville Art Trail and worked with the City of Danville to launch the Danville Rides bike share program.
Two conservation-friendly initiatives were also launched in 2017 including the Danville Osprey Cam and the “Dan River Twins” picture book. The Osprey Cam allowed visitors to www.PlayDanvilleVA.com a firsthand look into the nesting lives of an osprey couple and their offspring. During the spring, summer, and early fall, the page was viewed 35,815 times. “Dan River Twins” was provided to all 552 fourth grade students in Danville City Schools and detailed the adventures of two river otters as they explored the Dan River.
Both initiatives were designed to educate the public on the importance of protecting the river and all of the wildlife who reside in the water and along the banks.
The report not only catalogs accomplishments, it also provides a roadmap for planning.
“We strive to fill community needs through various projects, services and programs,” Sgrinia said. “By taking a good hard look at what we did and how the community participated or reacted to our services, we can gauge as whether or not to continue that service or come up with something new.”
Along with data from the report, Parks and Recreation also seeks community input to help in planning purposes.
“Being involved and connected to the community’s needs is, and always will be, a priority,” Sgrinia said, adding his appreciation for the continued support of the community.
“We really can’t do what we do without our community,” he said. “Whether it’s through participation in our programs or feedback on our projects, the members of this community really shape our department and work with us to steadily improve the quality of life for all of Danville.”