By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
Plans for spring and summer already are being made by the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department, and it will be the first season in more than 30 years without former department director Kevin Gorman, who retired late last year.
Assistant Director Erin Moore and new program coordinator Brittany Toombs headed a recent parks board meeting where decisions to make some changes at Irvine-McDowell Park were made.
“The park board is recommending the gazebo that’s in place right now, which is in need of a lot of repair, be turned into a bandstand,” Moore said.
The gazebo has been used as a bandstand in recent years for the park’s popular summer outdoor concerts.
A softball field in the park at the corner of Crabbe Street and Lancaster Avenue has been removed and will be replaced by a passive recreation area, she said. Two other softball fields remain.
A trail or a walking path will be added to that area of the park, Moore said.
The changes are designed to make Irvine-McDowell a quiet, relaxing and peaceful inner-city park, she said.
Moore has been acting as department head since Gorman retired, with Toombs coordinating special events.
“We’ve met internally about new programs to offer and how we want to expand,” Moore said.
The grand opening of the department’s latest accomplishment, a universal playground at Lake Reba Recreational Complex, is scheduled for April 19.
Before then, the department will be hosting its annual Easter Eggstravaganza on March 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The egg hunt will be conducted behind the Irvinton House in Irvine-McDowell Park this year because of construction.
As it has for several years since its funding was reduced, the parks and recreation department will be relying on private donations for the Easter Eggstravaganza.
“Meijer and Karate for Kids are our two big sponsors” for this event, Moore said.
.us/index.php/parks-home/ for more information about other 2013 events being hosted by the Richmond’s park and recreation department.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6608.