by city of Marietta
At eight-and-a-half acres, Custer Park has two large fields that can accommodate several types of soccer, Marietta Parks and Recreation director Rich Buss said. "We can have a full field for older kids and adults, and we can have six or eight games going at the same time for the smaller kids."
In addition to the two newly lighted soccer fields, upgrades to the facility include a concession stand, restrooms, playground and parking lot.
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Improvements were funded by the $25 million parks bond referendum voters approved in 2009.
"Marietta and Cobb County residents can sign up for recreational soccer and flag football, and in the summer we will provide summer day-camp," McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA executive director Becky Shipley said. "The public will have the opportunity almost year round to be involved with Custer Park and YMCA programming."
"This park is here today because of a public process that was years in the making," city manager Bill Bruton said. "The city and City Council held a series of public meetings to find out what the community wanted as far as parks and recreation, what kinds of facilities, what kinds of parks, what they wanted in the parks, what kinds of programs were wanted for adults and youth."
Partnerships save money
"Custer Park is a partnership with the public and private sector," Bruton said. "We found in Marietta over the years that it is a lot more efficient if the city goes in and build facilities with bond money that the voters have approved for building parks," he said. "Instead of having to raise taxes and find other money to run the facilities, we can partner with the private sector and use their resources to run the facility."
"Through our partnership with the Cobb YMCA, they will run the facility, pay for maintenance of the facility and the utilities, scheduling and everything that takes place on a daily basis," Bruton said. "We've been able to get reduced rates on YMCA programming, so if somebody in the city wants to join one of the programs that the YMCA has, whether it's here at Custer Park or anywhere else the YMCA has programs, they'll be able to get a reduced rate specifically for Marietta residents," he said.
Custer Park joins Marietta's recently completed Aviation Sports Complex in providing city residents with quality resources for participation in both soccer and baseball.