Concession stand at new complex
A work crew puts the finishing touches on the concession stand and pavilions at the new youth recreation complex Tuesday in preparation for the grand opening Saturday.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - Nearly seven months after breaking ground on Blue, Green and French fields along 1st Division Road, renovations have been completed on a youth recreation complex, walking trail and a second dog park for Fort Benning families.

The Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation will kick off festivities at the complex with a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday that will include inflatables, Frisbee dog demonstrations and hot-air balloon rides, weather permitting.

The complex on Blue Field, at the intersection of 1st Division and Yeager Avenue, houses 17 new soccer fields, a concession stand, two pavilions, a paved parking lot and restrooms. A mile-long concrete walking trail surrounds the entire facility. More than 500 kids will participate in soccer games Saturday at French Field, across from the new fields at Blue Field, which won't open until the fall, said Dorrie Wagner, Child, Youth and School Services sports specialist.

Wagner said the new soccer fields will be a great addition.

"Soccer is one of CYSS' growing sports, with 42 teams registered this year," Wagner said. "It's the most popular sport with the kids and now we will have more fields in better condition."

The new dog park at Green Field is located on Zuckerman Avenue across from Blue Field on a five-acre lot with bench swings and a pavilion. The park includes separate areas for small and large dogs.

A project families will see adjacent to the dog park is a Boundless Playground.

Phase one of construction is complete, but rain has delayed finishing the handicap-accessible playground, said Bill Sartin, site superintendent for the recreation complex.

Boundless Playgrounds are designed with Americans with Disabilities Acts requirements, such as wheelchair ramps and suitable surfacing for mobility devices, in mind to give children with and without disabilities the opportunity to play, according to the organization's Web site at

Jim Shoemaker, chief of DFMWR's Community Recreation Division, said the youth recreation complex, walking trail, dog park and playground were identified in the 2006 Fort Benning Outdoor Recreation Plan and supported by the MWR Triennial Leisure Needs Survey. The projects support the Army Family Covenant's goal of providing Soldiers and their families quality of life and a strong, supportive environment.

The projects were four years in the making and received funding from several sources, including Fort Benning, the post's MWR, Army Community Service and the Southeast Region MWR, Shoemaker said.

Bark to the Park

WHO: You and your furry friends

WHAT: Celebrate spring at the new dog park on Green Field. There will be an obstacle course, and Mulberry Creek Kennels will teach an obedience course.

WHEN: 4:30 to 7 p.m. April 9

WHERE: The dog park is located at the intersection of 1st Division Road and Zuckerman Avenue.

AND ... Dogs must be registered on post to participate. For more information, call 706-545-9636.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16