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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Jolly Park Master Plan Update Incorporates Improvements, Points to Future

The Joseph J. Stapleton Pavilion is a key improvement made since the 2015 A.J. Jolly Park Development Plan.

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by Robin Gee

Visitors to A. J. Jolly Park can expect many of the improvements already completed or underway to form the backbone of plans for the park going forward. Matthew Verst, chair of the Jolly Park Community Development Council (JPCDC) presented an update of the A.J. Jolly Park Master Plan first written in 2015 to the Campbell County Fiscal Court at its March meeting. The court approved the updates to the plan.

Verst said many of the opportunities for improvement outlined in the plan continue in the 2021 plan update. "A lot of the updates are incorporating updates we’ve accomplished in the park since 2015, which is a great thing. It means we’re achieving what we set out to do with the master plan. We are moving forward and making this the regional destination we have been shooting for."

He noted some of the improvements have been completed, most notably the construction of the Joseph J. Stapleton Pavilion. In addition, since 2015, improvements near the entrance of the park have included a new boat dock; boat dock; additional walking trails; repaving of trails; and kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board rentals as well as the pavilion.

Plans are underway for a 300-person picnic shelter, playground, restrooms and a walkway near the entrance area as well.

More improvements in the works

Other improvements that have taken place throughout the park include a large revision to the RV campground layout that allows for more spaces, improved fishing quality in the lake, additional trees on the golf course and near the entry way and picnic tables and benches throughout the park.

In the family picnic area there has been more parking added, more trees and shelter refurbishments. A grant application is in process for a future scenic walkway across the lake in this area.

Two yurts have been added to the campground and the hope is that more of these fun family camping shelters can be added. The plan for the future also includes additional walking and bike paths, pull-off areas for people to park and fish and improvements to the spillway near the dam.

One item that did not make it into the update was a dog park. The Jolly Park Council members researched the item and decided to put it on hold due to risks involved and maintenance issues. 

Toward the future

Overall, the goal is to work toward many of the improvements outlined in the plan. These include wetland restoration and educational opportunities, a banquet center, improved youth sports fields and recreational facilities, improvements for the equestrian facilities and trails and an expanded pedestrian trail system.

One future goal is to add more connectivity to nearby communities through the addition of pedestrian and bike paths from the park to surrounding areas.

The JPCDC has been busy during the pandemic, not only with the master plan update but also with improvements to its website and the park reservation system. In fact, members said they coordinated the presentation of their update so that these improvements were up and running and ready to go before they publicized the plan. 
Visit the Jolly Park Community Development website for more information and the A.J. Jolly Park website for the complete five-year plan update, the reservation system and more.

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