The Parks Division oversees and maintains numerous buildings and parks throughout the City of Aiken. These various buildings (34) range in size, different public use amounts, high profile, medium profile, low profile, etc... It could be the URS Performing Arts Building on Newberry Street or the newly opened Visitors Center and Train Museum on Union Street to a Well House or material and equipment building located at Citizens Park. City parks (12) range in size from the 120 acre Citizens Park to not even an acre smaller neighborhood park.
The many department activities and events offered also involves numerous hours of work by the parks crews. It may be the yearly recreation league play of baseball and softball for children and adults put on by the athletic division Monday thru Thursday or one of the 28 weekend tournaments hosted at Citizens Park last year. It could be the rental of Rye Patch for someone’s wedding reception, or a gym rental for a family reunion at the Odell Weeks Center or Smith-Hazel Community Center by the recreation division. It may even be supplying a driver for a tour of Aiken. Not to exclude the numerous non-city events in town to help promote the quality of life in Aiken assisted with by the parks division. Some of these events include the spring Julliard in Aiken Festival, the fall visit of Julliard, Western Carolina State Fair, all 3 legs of the Aiken Triple Crown Horse races and numerous polo matches during polo season.
The division leads a large number of City staff in the decorating of the light poles in the downtown district. It also installs the snowflake tree located in the intersection of Richland Ave. and Laurens St. in preparation for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting event. The Parks staff make daily checks to ensure all lighting is safe and operating properly. After the holiday season the Parks Division unassisted remove all the decorations from the down town area and place it into storage for the following year.
Staff attends numerous training seminars throughout the year.
The division is kept quite busy with the preparation and then break down and cleanup of weekend tournaments, gym rentals at either the Odell Weeks Center or Smith-Hazel Community Center, rentals at Hopelands/Rye patch area, rentals at the URS building and at the Visitors Center. This is beyond the normal responsibilities of maintaining the parks, mowing grass, prepping soccer, baseball, softball, football fields for practice and games.