2 Aiken County parks receive thousands for improvements

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:58 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - South Carolina’s Department of Parks and Rec announced hundreds of thousands in grants for some projects here at home.

North Augusta is getting more than $200,000 to improve the Sharon Jones Amphitheater. The city of Aiken is getting more than $300,000 for Smith-Hazel Park.

People at the park say this is exciting news. Joseph Toomer has called Aiken home for 60 years.

He walks twice a week because it’s a part of what helps him enjoy life. He tells us the improvements to the park will make walking an even better experience.

“I worked here for many years, and I guess you can say I adapt to it, or it adapts to me. So, I always enjoyed working in this area and enjoy walking,” he said.

The grant of $306,625 will go toward the Smith-Hazel Park rehabilitation project. It will include site work and stormwater management at the park.

They will replace the playground, reconstruct two tennis courts, resurface the walking trail, relocate the basketball court and build some shade for the pool.

Joseph says he thinks the renovations will bring more families to the park.

“From time to time, it has been busy, but I think all the improvements, it will be even better. I think that’s a part of life itself, just enjoying life and a new playground, I think would be a wonderful thing,” said Toomer.

The parks and rec department also tells us they’re working on a project to make the facility more accessible for elderly individuals.