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Batter Up for Parks and Recreation Planning

May 2019 Mayor David McCann as seen in Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine

Most of you who know me know of my lifelong passion for our country's "national pastime" and of my diehard support for the New York Yankees. While their season may not have gotten off to the best start, the commencement of their opening day always represents a very exciting time for me. Not only is this time of year exciting because the Major League is back at play, it is also the time of year when we have some of the best weather on Hilton Head Island. Many people actively enjoy our pathways, parks, and beaches at this time of year.

This time of year is also special because it's the season when island youngsters take to the diamonds and play baseball. The Hilton Head Island baseball program is open to all boys and girls ages five to 13 and offers an opportunity to play weekly games at Crossings Park. This excellent program, organized by the Hilton Head Baseball Association via an agreement with the Island Rec Center, is dedicated to creating a fun and safe environment for young athletes so they can learn fundamentals of the game and improve their baseball and life skills for success on and off the field.

Several weeks ago, Town Manager Steve Riley and I had the pleasure of throwing out the first pitch at the association's opening day of the spring 2019 season. This exciting event highlighted how important recreational opportunities are in achieving the high quality of life that all island residents enjoy. It also emphasized the need to continue examining the ways in which we can enhance these recreational opportunities in the future.

Recreation will be a major part of the town's comprehensive plan which we are preparing to update. In doing so, we will be undertaking an extensive study of our parks and recreational amenities. This will ultimately result in a master plan of what facilities, programs and services we should be providing to meet the needs of our community for the next 10 years. I would encourage any resident who is interested in recreational opportunities to come out and participate during the public engagement portions of this process. Doing so will help to ensure that your voices and the voices of our island youth are heard and incorporated into this plan.

Now, let's get outside and play ball!