Organization & Strategic Planning
The Newton County Recreation Commission is governed by an nine member recreation commission and a director which meet the 4th Monday night in each month.
The recreation commission is funded by the Newton County Board of Commissioners, The operating budget is set in June of each year and implemented in July. Capital improvements are budgeted as needed.
A Five Year Comprehensive Master Plan was implemented in 2005. All available information and input from the city and county governments and interested citizens were directed toward future recreation growth, needs and goals.
This study found the primary activities the county needed to address were:
- Multi-use courts
- Passive use opportunities
- Picnic area
- Seating in parks
- Senior center meeting space
- Tennis courts
- A Trail System for biking, walking, running and fitness
These guidelines were based on:
- Existing recreational facilities
- Management strategies
- Projected population growth patterns
- Public recommendation
- Suggestions as to improving efficiency to an expanding park system in Newton County
This master plan is currently in progress and being implemented. The guidelines generated from the analysis of the recreational needs and goals of the community assure future recreational demands of Newton County will be met in a progressive and strategic fashion.
Long range plans include but are not limited to:
- Connection of the Rob Fowler Trail System to the downtown square in Covington and the Newton County Library. This will add approximately 3 miles to the trail and is the result of an I.S.T.E.A. grant.
- Five softball/baseball practice fields
- A nature center
- Seven outdoor multi-use courts
- Ten tennis courts
- Three additional picnic areas
Through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), the recreation commission received monies to be distributed over a five year period. This enabled the recreation commission to purchase 158 acres with a 26 acre lake in Covington, now know as Turner Lake Complex.
Satellite parks resulting from the ten year master plan have been completed with dedications for citizens of Newton County:
- B. C. Crowell Park
- Beaver Park.
- Denny Dobbs Park
- Mary Louise Fowler Park
The Newton County Recreation Commission has entered into an inter-governmental contract with the Newton County School Board regarding the use of the facilities. This agreement will be in effect from from January 1, 1997 for a period of five years. Because of the growth of our programs and the Newton County School System, the agreement enables cooperative use of facilities including, but not limited to:
- Football Fields
- Softball Fields
- Tennis Courts
- Outdoor Basketball Courts
- Walking/Running Tracks
- Nature Trails
Beside the Board of Education, the Recreation Commission is in partnership with:
- The City of Covington
- Local Business and Industry
- Newton County Board of Commissioners
- The Newton County Chamber of Commerce
- Newton County Senior Services