Hood Park in Derry to be 'reimagined'

JULIE HUSS/File photo. Hood Park in Derry is one of the town's recreational areas highlighted as a space needing improvements and upgrades. Residents and organizations are being asked to participate in a "Reimagine Hood Park" survey to give ideas on what could benefit the park.

DERRY — A local park in town may be getting some new ideas as officials ask residents to respond to a survey to give input on ways to bring the space back to life.

The town has announced a visioning project to "Reimagine Hood Park," a local spot off Rollins Road that is in need of some upgrades and improvements and is topping the list of projects needing attention.

The town completed an update to its Master Plan and also participated in a recreational needs assessment, a study of the community's parks, fields, programs and other entities where residents enjoy sports, play and other time in the outdoors.

That also put an emphasis again on Hood Park and what can be done to bring the local spot back to a safe, and welcome location.

A Hood Park Steering Committee has been formed to reach out to the public to discover the community's vision of what should be retained, changed, or added to the park.

The group is working in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Hood Park was a popular summer swimming spot for many years, with youth swimming lessons taking place every summer. But due to the lack of lifeguard interest and often poor pond water quality, that program faded over the years.

The park still offers basketball, tennis, picnic tables, playground, fishing, biking and trails. But the park, named to honor the prominent Hood family of Derry, has fallen on quieter times.

The website https://hoodpark-derrynh.hub.arcgis.com contains links to an online survey and information about the park's history and what it faces today. The link also contains a downloadable "postcard" that can be returned to the committee by dropping them off at the Planning Department at the Municipal Center's second floor or emailing them to hoodpark@derrynh.org. Surveys and postcards will be gathered through the second week of November.

The committee will also be reaching out to organizations and groups in the community to ask for input about the park.

All information gathered during the visioning process will be studied and compiled to find common themes based on the survey responses received. The committee will then present the information to Town Council at the end of the year and final decisions will come afterward.

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