March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Eastway Regional: Mecklenburg County's
First Regional Recreation Experience
By Daniel Leatherman, CPRE
N
estled on 120 acres of parkland, a mere four miles from Charlotte
(North Carolina) center city, is Eastway Regional - Mecklenburg
County's newest recreation center. The Eastway Regional
buildout has been a part of discussions, planning, advocacy and
construction for the past 20 years, with many stakeholders working toward a
shared goal: creating cutting-edge recreation for the east side of town.
The initial project buildout was
funded in 1999 and 2004 via bond
measures, focusing on self-led outdoor
park amenities. In 2008, voters
approved a park bond package that
included buildout of indoor spaces
at Eastway Regional, slated to be the
second of four proposed locations.
Local neighborhood groups were
not satisfied with projected buildout
timelines and advocated directly to
elected officials and recreation leadership,
leading Eastway Regional to
become indoor recreation priority
number one. Meanwhile, light rail
public transit and urban buildout continued
to boom in the neighborhood
between 2008 and 2018, and Eastway
Regional found itself at a threeway
intersection between historic
art district-turned-millennial hotspot
North Davidson (NoDa); predominately
Black and Latino residential
area Hidden Valley; and drastically
ethnic-, cultural-, age- and incomediverse
Plaza-Eastway neighborhoods.
Nowhere else in Mecklenburg
County does a 20-minute drive time
service area capture a more diverse
population of residents.
During planning, the community
prioritized regional amenities,
including multiple
gymnasiums,
two indoor pools, fitness studios,
a senior center, a nature center, a
tech lab, and flexible multipurpose
spaces. Operation of these spaces,
while delayed initially due to the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
and labor market restrictions,
has been a roaring success with
patrons raving over the design and
functionality of the facility.
Recently, with equity and access
becoming dominant themes of a renewed
community focus, questions
naturally came up: What type of user,
and from what area of the county (or
beyond) is the facility serving? Does
a regional recreation facility serve the
neighborhood in which it was placed,
or do the " haves " travel to the area to
use amenities and programs that only
Eastway Regional is Mecklenburg County's
newest recreation center.
14 Parks & Recreation | MARCH 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
they can afford or access?
The important conversation and
recognition of who has access to and
ultimately utilizes the typical regional
recreation facility has come to the
forefront. While we know users in
Mecklenburg County are more likely
to travel farther distances to access
aquatic facilities, nature and senior
centers (based on pre-opening data
of other county facilities), Eastway
Regional staff have been deliberate
in marketing and providing requested
services to the immediate surrounding
community as well. Data
from the third quarter of 2021 shows
that 75 percent of facility users live
within a 3.5-mile radius, indicating
that this intentional dedication to
inclusion for all abilities, financial
means and ages has been successful.
These usage trends are comparable
with other traditional neighborhood
recreation and senior facilities in the
area and show how successfully a
facility with regional draw can still
serve the immediate surrounding
community as well.
Mecklenburg County staff are encouraged
by the immediate success
of such a wonderful public amenity
and seek to continue expanding
services and recreation opportunities
via Northern Regional, another
new recreation facility, which is
anticipated to be available for public
use by April/May of 2022.
Daniel Leatherman, CPRE, is Recreation
Manager at Eastway Regional for
Mecklenburg County Park and
Recreation (daniel.leatherman@
mecklenburgcountync.gov).
PHOTO COURTESY OF MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND RECREATION

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2022 - Parks & Recreation

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
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March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
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March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
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March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com