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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A park in Gainesville now has a running track that is comparable to UF's track and field facilities.

The track cost the city's parks and recreation department $784,000 to build. It was constructed around a standard-size football field.

With help from the city's Wild Place & Public Places tax initiative, which funds public parks, the city was able to build an eight-lane rubberized track at the Fred Cone Park in east Gainesville. The track was finished during the first week of February.

"These are the kind of things that make Gainesville so great," said City Commissioner Thomas Hawkins. "This track will help people feel good about themselves."

Walking or running on the track can ward off diabetes and heart disease, Hawkins added.

There are about 90 parks in Gainesville, said Michelle Park, assistant director for Gainesville's department of parks, recreation and cultural affairs. The parks vary from recreational parks with basketball courts and athletic fields to community centers to nature parks.

Here is a breakdown of the parks in Gainesville:

38 recreational parks

22 nature parks

9 hiking and biking trails

9 community centers

5 community gardens

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5 special facilities including a golf course, a cemetery, an art studio, the Thomas Center Galleries and an archery range

3 swimming pools


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