County working to enhance Helen McCall Park

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 03:43 PM.

"Soccer is booming here," said Alford, "and so is football. At Helen McCall, fields have had to be shared and soccer is hard on a field."

"The football field is overused," added Foreman. "I am glad to see things moving forward."

Meadows said the park is seeing more kids than were expected.

At present, refurbishing is all that can be done to help the park as it is 95 percent built out and bordered mostly by wetlands and a state park. However, Meadows said the possibility exists that the owner of property that borders the park on the northwest side will sell a piece of his land.

In addition, Meadows said the county is looking for 25-30 acres to build another complex similar to the one at Hammock Bay in Freeport or Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, as the master plan calls for a sports facility in South Walton. A public meeting will be held to discuss those plans on Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. at the South Walton Courthouse Annex. Land currently being considered for this is located on U.S. Highway 98, three miles east of Emerald Coast Middle School and west of St. Joe's Commerce Park. This property consists of 30 acres and borders a canal. It would be close to the new high school that is to be built.

Alford said he would love to see a Frank Brown-type park in South Walton, but the community does not have the infrastructure to support it, as motels and restaurants would be needed to cater to traveling teams.

Foreman, who has three children ages 17, 13, and 10, is vice president of the South Walton Youth Football. He said he does not think that type of park would fit in.

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