ITID Recreation Staff Suggests Ideas For New Programming

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors heard a presentation Wednesday, Sept. 16 by Parks & Recreation Director Elizabeth Ricci on possible directions that ITID could take with its recreation programming.

“This presentation will outline recreation programming; All-Star Buddy programming, which is special-needs programing; equestrian programming events; and we’ll also go over some food truck options,” Ricci said.

Suggested recreational programs include archery, fishing and kayaking, which would fall under a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission partnership, she said. “In order for us to be able to utilize their equipment, all we would have to do is get staff certified through them. Their certifications are about $40,” Ricci said.

She added that ITID staff members are already trained for the fishing program sponsored by the FWC, which provides fishing poles.

“They will also provide us with kayaks if we decide we want to do any kayaking at Coconut Park or anywhere else,” Ricci said, adding that walking programs could be initiated at the parks to discourage recreational walking in the swales.

She said that staff is also looking at the M-1 impoundment for recreational opportunities, including hiking, horseback riding and fishing. There is also a consideration of 4-H clubs to help with the gardening program that has been neglected at Hamlin House.

For equestrian programs, staff is looking at exhibition days, which would be non-competitive barrel racing practice, barn games that practice roping events and trail rides at the M-1 impoundment.

Ricci said the district’s equestrian specialist is looking at developing a trail system that coordinates with work the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council is doing.

Staff is also working on the continuation of drive-in movie nights in November and December, continuing open fishing at the M-1 impoundment every Saturday and starting a fresh market through a contracted vendor, as well as a holiday “Ho Ho Hoedown” at the Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park.

Ricci also suggested allowing food trucks with proper food and beverage licenses at ITID’s special events because they are parking on swales outside the events.

Most of the supervisors were supportive of the suggestions, but ITID President Betty Argue was less positive.

“Indian Trail is not a city, and I feel like we’re trying to take on all these things,” Argue said. “I think it’s important to remind everybody that the Acreage Landowners’ Association used to be the one that hosted the events, such as the music jams.”

Argue was concerned about ITID taking on more activities that could cost money.

“If our money should be going anywhere, it needs to be on the priorities that the board has already talked about,” she said.

Supervisor Jennifer Hager said she perceived the presentation as an attempt to better utilize the district’s parks.

“I hear what you’re saying about expenses and staff availability,” Hager said. “At the same time, I think it’s really a great notion that we’re looking finally at how we’re going to fully utilize parks. Maybe the next step would be to let parks continue with this endeavor and just tone it back some.”

Hager agreed that other organizations could take on some of the programs, such as the fresh market, with the district possibly taking on a supportive role.

“I don’t think this is ready to go yet, but the more we work it, I think it is something that we could do,” she said.

ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson said his staff would come back at the district’s Oct. 14 meeting with a more detailed report on the proposal.