Recreation is vital to area

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship is certainly on the right track when he says that recreational facilities are important parts of the community.

We couldn’t agree more and are encouraged by the efforts we see the city administration and civic groups like the Friends of Ironton and the Rotary Club putting forth to provide these opportunities within the city.

From the renovation of the existing facilities and construction of a skate park at Etna Street to the work to upgrade the playground equipment at Eighth Street Park to the continued push to develop the riverfront, we feel the city is heading in the right direction when it comes to recreation.

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To take it to the next level, we would like to see the mayor and city leaders take a public approach to this by seeking input, creating committees to prioritize needs and then draft a comprehensive plan that outlines where the city needs to go with its recreational facilities.

This should include developing new projects as well as making sure that existing properties are up-to-date, safe and being utilized to their fullest potential.

The city does have some of this in place but this would take it a step farther by seeking more public input and clearly outlining a strategy that looks at all these needs holistically rather than as individual components.

It is obvious that the mayor and the administration have a passion for this type of progress so this would be a natural extension of all the hard work that has been put forth so far.

But, the reality is that the city certainly cannot do this alone. For Ironton’s recreational opportunities to fully meet their potential, the community will have to come together to offer financial and volunteer support.

The city seems to be on the right path but shouldn’t have to go it alone.