Leisure

 

With our ideal climate and setting, some form of relaxation and recreation is available to the citizens of Ben Hill County every day of the year.

The city's commitment to wholesome recreation for our citizens shines through in the opportunities afforded to our people.  

Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Department of Leisure Services (DLS)

As a joint service of the city and county, DLS is charged with the supervision and direction of countywide recreational activities. Its headquarters are at 816 North Main Street (Legion Park). Aside from the parks, the DLS also oversees the Monitor Cultural Center and the Pine Street Ceramics Studio located at 115 W Pine.

For sports fans, the DLS offers some of the best youth and adult programs in baseball, softball, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, archery, horseshoes, wrestling, tennis, and golf. Not only do these programs teach athletic skills and sportsmanship, they also create teams that are successful in competitive arenas. Fitzgerald, which competes in the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, repeatedly wins district and state championships, as well as hosts some of the top tournaments on an annual basis.

For those not as athletically inclined, the Department varies its activities. The Pine Street ceramics studio has classes throughout the year. There are also active dancing groups. The programs vary from season to season, but the DLS promises to always have several short courses--from needlework to square-dancing--available during the year. Senior programs include a monthly fish fry and a Christmas feast.

Fitzgerald is indeed fortunate to have a full-service recreational department which truly enhances the quality of life for our citizens. For more information, call the DLS office at (229) 426-5050.

Hunting and Fishing

There is no better place in Georgia for pleasant outdoor recreation. The moderate climate and extended seasons create perfect conditions for hunting and fishing throughout the entire year. Because Fitzgerald sits on top of one of the largest freshwater aquifers in America, ponds and lakes are plentiful. Also, the Ocmulgee River flows a mere ten miles north of the city limits. Local specialities are catfish, largemouth bass, and plenty of high-quality bream. Also, Ben Hill County is prime hunting ground for quail, doves, and deer--in season, of course.

Fitzgerald's Parks--Fun for Everyone

  • Legion Park, on North Main Street, is the main office for the Department of Leisure Services. Picnic tables, grills, playground equipment, a maintenance shop, horseshoe pits, outdoor basketball courts, barbecue pits, a swimming pool, a bathhouse, banquet and meeting halls, and a concession area are all available in this 6.6-acre natural wooded area.
  • Compton Park, on South Merrimac Drive, is a 16-acre athletic facility housing three multi-purpose, lighted baseball/softball/youth football/soccer fields. The park also houses a concession stand, two lighted tennis courts, and a picnic area.
  • Palm Street Park is the city's tennis center, with six lighted courts, as well as benches and picnic tables for spectators.
  • Monitor Park, part of the Monitor Cultural Center, is home to new playground equipment, an outdoor basketball court, picnic tables, charcoal grills, a baseball practice field, and Monitor Gym. The gym houses a regulation basketball court, electric score clock, portable bleachers, concessions, and a wrestling balcony.
  • Lions Park is the centerpiece for the youth baseball/softball program. Located on the Perry House Road just north of the hospital, these 8.2 acres accommodate four lighted fields, concessions, and a full-service press box in the center of the complex.
  • Ellis T. Paulk Park, also on the Perry House Road, is 95 multi-purpose acres. The south side of the park has a large fishing lake, fully stocked with some of the best catches in the area. The natural area also has a picnic shelter, recreational vehicle/trailer hook-ups, and a boat ramp. The other half of the park is home to the Fitzgerald High School Purple Hurricanes baseball team. It features a large concession facility and a brand new batting cage.
  • Blue-Gray Park, off of Sherman Street, is home to Ridgeway Field (baseball), bleachers, grills, picnic tables, a shelter, and outdoor basketball courts--all in 13 acres of natural woodland.

Other Water Activities

Lake Blackshear, another natural gem in South Georgia, is 45 miles to the northwest, abutting Cordele, Georgia. The lake is quite large, allowing plenty of space for boating and water skiing. Veterans State Park adjoins the lake and makes a suitable place for campers.