It’s an opportunity to help plan the future for Gulfport. Tonight, the city held a public forum for residents to discuss ideas about future parks and recreation for the city.
Gulfport residents with any ideas for the leisure services department got the chance to make their voice heard.
Thursday night’s forum was held at the Orange Grove Community Center. Those in attendance had an opportunity to check out idea categories presented by the department and indicate their favorite thoughts with category stickers. Gulfport PIO LaShaundra McCarty said, “It’s important for the city to know what the citizens actually want, to know we’re developing and planning things that we’re actually hitting people’s desires. There’s really no point in developing something the citizens won’t use or don’t feel is pertinent to the development of their own communities.”
Tom Linenberger is a proponent of the game pickle ball. He says though the city is supportive of the game, he and his fellow players say the game is so popular here on the Coast he wishes they had more opportunity to play in the city. “The players have to wait 20 to 30 minutes between getting into a game. It’s very discouraging. The whole purpose of going is for their health. We’re all baby boomers were very attuned to living a good life, both mental as well as physical and so that’s the greatest thing of the sport. We appreciate what the cities have done for us but we need the expansion.”
James Franklin is the director of the 34th Street Wholistic Garden and says he just wants to see more community interaction. “More diverse things growing in the garden. It’s not about me. It’s about the community. Whatever the community decides to do. Last year there were numerous things I’d never had before and I got an opportunity to experience them just because other people were growing them in the garden and we share it.”
City officials hope this forum will ensure citizens have a voice within the master plan.