A Walk In The Park
For over a quarter century, the Pooler Recreation Department continues to be a vital part of keeping local residents healthy and active.
The vast majority of research supports the fact that physically active adults and children are much healthier and less likely to become obese, diabetic, or experience several forms of cancer and heart disease than those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle. However, what impedes most folks from getting out and trying to keep their weight down are often financial limitations, a lack of free time, or a combination thereof. To that end, the local community parks and recreation department provides a low cost, fun-filled way to maintain your overall health and well-being. The active lifestyle supported by parks and recreation is just one component that keeps a community vital – physically, socially and economically. The Pooler Recreation Department has been that vital component in the Pooler community for more than 30 years.
“Pooler has experienced unprecedented growth over the past decade, and along with that growth there have been many changes in our community over the years. However, one constant that has remained is the pride that Pooler has taken in its parks and recreation,” says Hugh Elton, Leisure Services Director. The Pooler Rec Department is funded primarily by the City of Pooler with additional revenue coming from the fees and charges collected by the department. The city currently maintains and operates five parks, including Pooler Park, Gleason Park, Joe Baker Park, Memorial Park and the Pooler Recreation Complex. Included in these parks are athletic fields, outdoor basketball courts, picnic areas, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, and green space areas.
Pooler Recreation and Leisure Services offers an array of recreational opportunities in several locations. Facilities include the Pooler Seniors Citizens Center, Pooler Park, the Pooler Recreation Complex, a community center and several smaller, passive parks. The mission of the Pooler Recreation Department is to provide quality facilities, educational programs and activities for the community that promote and enhance a healthy lifestyle.
At the Recreation Department, Pooler’s youth can choose from a variety of activities including basketball, tee ball, baseball, softball, soccer, football, cheerleading, gymnastics and dance. There are also opportunities for adult participation, which include basketball, softball and kickball. Both the Recreation Complex, located at 200 Preston Stokes Drive, and Pooler Park, located at 900 South Rogers Street, include baseball/softball fields, picnic pavilions as well as playgrounds. Pooler Park, which contains football and soccer fields, is also home to the Recreation Department offices and gymnasiums.
The Senior Citizens Center, located at 955 Plantation Drive in the Sangrena Woods subdivision, is open Monday through Friday 9am to 3pm. The center strives to create a welcoming environment. Seniors can enjoy arts and crafts classes, games, day trips, hot meals and much more at the center. Transportation can also be provided for those Pooler residents who need it.
In addition, the Community Center, which is located at 957 Plantation Drive in the Sangrena Woods subdivision, is available for parties, reunions and other events. It contains a kitchen, restrooms and enough room for parties with up to 100 guests. There is also ample room for many outdoor activities at the center.
The Community Recreation aspect of the department offers programming for both youth and adults. Community programs include tumbling and gymnastics classes, as well as dance classes, special events, summer athletic camps and Senior Center activities. In terms of athletics, there are plenty of offerings for youth and adults alike. These programs include baseball, softball, t-ball, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, football and men’s basketball.
Pooler also hosts numerous tournaments throughout the year at the Recreation Complex. For example, last year the inaugural season of youth volleyball was a huge hit with all of the participants. “With volleyball being a new program, we really didn’t know what to expect or how many participants would show up,” says Elton. “As it turns out, we were able to field multiple teams and participate with teams from the Richmond Hill area. The response to that season was so positive that we expanded volleyball to a spring session this past March.”
The Pooler Recreation Department has an abundance of fall activities that have already begun while others will be starting very soon. The youth tackle football teams and cheerleading squads are currently practicing for their upcoming season. Each football team will have the opportunity to play at Pooler Stadium as well as travel to other area locations.
The fall youth soccer league is also in full swing, and the teams are currently practicing at least twice a week for their season set to start in the beginning of September. “We also began a flag football league that was held for the first time in the spring with over 100 kids participating, so we’re offering that again in the fall,” says Elton. “In addition, we have a church co-ed basketball league as well as an adult co-ed kickball league going on right now. New Hampstead is playing its home softball games here, and along with all those activities, we’re also hosting twelve high school football games this season as well as middle school games for both Godley Station and West Chatham, so we have quite a few activities going on right now.”
A community is more than a collection of people and buildings. When you can hear, feel, and sense the pulse of a people who are involved and engaged with one another through the places and spaces that are provided by your local parks and recreation department, you have a healthy, active community. So to see a complete list of offerings and amenities as well as registration opportunities, please visit the Pooler Recreation Department at www.poolerrec.com or like them on Facebook. Please download the free app for Android and Iphones or call the recreation office at (912) 748-5776. For information concerning the Senior Center, please call (912) 330-0493.