For those that live in the Moberly Area, Moberly’s Parks and Recreation is a huge asset to the region. For a community with a population of around 14,000, having this size of a parks system is very unheard of.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Troy Bock, Director of Moberly Parks and Recreation and Recreations Supervisor Amber Britain, to discuss some exciting projects and their involvement in making Moberly better.
Underneath Moberly Parks and Recreation there are five different parks which have numerous shelters, lakes and various activities. Some of the most popular things to do include biking, walking and running trails throughout the parks. They also operate Howard Hills Athletic Complex, Moberly Aquatic Center, the Mini Train (in partnership with Friends of the Park), Thompson Campground and the Moberly Municipal Auditorium. According to Bock, 92% of the community uses the park system.
“It is a pretty integral part of people’s lives from learning [how] to swim, learning to play t-ball, weddings, family reunions, and 50th wedding anniversaries. People are very deeply tied to the park system throughout their lives. It is a big part of our social fabric.”
There are a few facilities that many people do not realize are available to the public. One of them is the West Wilderness Area. This region of undeveloped land sits on around 80 acres and has over two in a half miles of trails. This makes it the perfect location for horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking and fishing. Moberly is, also, home to one of the few handicapped accessible miniature trains in the United States.
The Moberly Mini Train runs on a one-mile track at Rothwell Park that holds adults and children. It is open every Sunday from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Moberly Parks and Recreation is trying to bring awareness to their events and activities.
“People don’t realize how many programs we put on throughout the year. The big one is the 4th of July [Extravaganza], but people aren’t aware of how much we do year-round,” explains Bock.
Their long-term goals are to create larger events that draw people from out of town and to engage the current community to try something new.
“My goals are to get them [the community] out there [to the parks] more. I want to get people out of their niches and coming to a wider variety of programs,” said Britain
They dabbled in that this year by adding Aqua Dance Fitness at the Aquatic Center.
Next year they plan on adding outdoor yoga and tai-chi into their programming.
Another one of Moberly Parks and Recreation’s long-term goals was announced recently. They are in the process of developing Northeast Park which will be near Sinnock Avenue. This park is being constructed in collaboration with the Moberly Kiwanis Club. Bock says this project will take 5 years for development, but the short-term goal is to create parking and open up green space.
Moberly Parks and Recreation have upcoming events they would like to share with the public. These events are the Last Splash at the Moberly Aquatic Center on August 26th, Movie-in-Park on September 15th at Fox Park showing Transformers: The Last Night, the Fall Festival on October 6th and the Trick-or-Treat Trail.
Additionally, the staff enjoys having the opportunity to develop the area youth's employment skills and improving the overall quality of life of the residents in the Moberly Area.
“The most rewarding thing is revitalizing a park amenity that had been declining or adding a new amenity and seeing the public’s response to it,” said Bock.
There is no doubt that Moberly Parks and Recreation has made a significant impact on the residents of the Moberly Area and beyond. They have invested in making their community better one park at a time.
If you or your organization is interested in collaborating on an event please contact Moberly Parks and Recreation at 660-269-8705 x 2040