Mecklenburg County commissioners heard more about funding parks and recreation than any other priority Jan. 17 during a public hearing about the 2024-25 fiscal year budget.
Chairman George Dunlap described the hearing as an opportunity for the public to have their say prior to commissioners creating their budget. More than 20 individuals and groups took that opportunity, bringing attention to education, childcare, the arts and other causes.
Hope Wright, advocacy manager for Sustain Charlotte, thanked commissioners for allocating $50 million toward land acquisition for parks and recreation for the last two budget cycles.
Wright encouraged commissioners to build on those investments by allocating another $50 million, preferably $75 million, toward securing more parks and green space. She also called for increases in funding for maintenance, staffing and capital improvements.
“As the population continues to grow rapidly in Mecklenburg County, so does the need to expand and maintain parks, nature reserves and recreation centers,” Wright said. “Due to underinvestment in the past, many residents have limited access to park and recreation opportunities.”