Comparing recreation in WNC counties

Jackson County

• Population: 42,000

• Property tax rate: 37 cents per $100 of assessed value

• Recreation staff (Cullowhee): 8

• County budget: $62.5 million

• Recreation budget: $2.1 million (includes Cullowhee and Cashiers rec centers, and funding for the Cashiers and Sylva pools)

• Rec spending per capita: $50

• Facilities — Cullowhee: 25,000 square-foot facility; Full-size gym (basketball, volleyball, table tennis and badminton available); Fitness room featuring True/Precor cardiovascular equipment, Nautilus selectorized weight equipment, free weights and personal trainers (trainers optional, additional fee); Men’s and women’s locker rooms; Three multi-purpose meeting rooms with a warming kitchen area; Two 310’ lighted softball fields; Four soccer fields (two are lighted); 1,500 square foot pavilion; 7 picnic shelters in various footages; 2 playgrounds; 1 outdoor basketball court; Park concession stand and restrooms; 10,000 foot running trail; Handicap accessible fishing piers; 18-hole disc golf course

• Youth athletics: Volleyball Clinics; Volleyball League; Youth Flag Football League; Homeschool PE; Basketball; Tiny Tumblers (gymnastics); Sandlot (t-ball); Little Dribblers; Fitness Bootcamp For Kids; Spring Soccer; Fall Soccer

• Adult athletics: Golf; Co-rec volleyball; Adult soccer; Indoor Futsal; Women’s volleyball; Church league volleyball; Sand volleyball; Church league softball; Racquetball; Summer walking program; Adult basketball; Pickleball; Fitness classes; Senior Games; Senior walking program

• Outdoor programming: Bellyak adventure; Family campout; Kids fishing days; Youth fishing camp; Nature Discovery; Nature explorer; Wilderness first aid; Canoe trips


Haywood County

• Population: 60,000

• Property tax rate: 58 cents per $100 of assessed value

• Recreation staff: 3

• County budget: $79.5 million

• Recreation budget: $257,859

• Rec spending per capita: $4.30(Editor’s note: The town of Waynesville provides a majority of park and rec services in Haywood County. The county contributed $25,000 to the town’s recreation budget)

• Programming: Basketball; Adult summer and fall soccer; Indoor winter soccer; Senior Games and trips


Macon County

• Population: 34,000

• Property tax rate: 34.9 cents per $100 of assessed value

• Recreation staff: 4

• County budget: $49.6 million

• Recreation budget: $709,941 for county facilities (Macon County contributed $900,000 to Highlands recreation programming this year for a total of $1.6 million in recreation spending)

• Rec spending per capita: $47

• Facilities — Allman Drive: Little League Baseball Field; Senior League Baseball Field; Softball Field; Pool - Outside (seasonal June-August); Large Shelter - with grills; Large Playground; 6 Tennis Courts; 1 Basketball Court-Outside

• Facilities — Cullasaja Park: Multiuse Field; Biddy League Softball Field; 1 Shelter-no grills; Walking Trail; 4 Shuffleboard Courts; 2 Horseshoe areas; Swing Set area; Volleyball Court - Outside

• Facilities — Cartoogechaye Park: Multiuse Field; Greenway

• Facilities — Parker Meadows Complex: 4 Adult League Fields; 4 Youth League Fields; Batting Cages; Fitness Trail; Multi-Use Court/Pavilion; River Access; Parking for all facilities

• Programming: Badminton; Table Tennis; Bowling; Tennis; Pickle Ball; Line Dancing; Square Dancing; Social Bridge; Duplicate Bridge; Tai Qi (Thai Chi); Qi Gong; Shuffleboard


Swain County

• Population: 15,000

• Property tax rate: 36 cents per $100 of assessed value

• Recreation staff: 3

• County budget: $15.6 million

• Recreation budget: $450,000

• Rec spending per capita: $30

• Facilities: Outdoor pool; Gym; Baseball/football/soccer fields; Outdoor basketball court; Two playgrounds; Skateboard park; Community meeting room

• Programming: Football; Cheerleading; Baseball; Softball; Soccer

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