Guest Blog: The Hidden Beauties of Sparks Parks


There is a little park nestled inside the McCarran loop, where I grew up playing football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and even built an igloo. This little park was my safe place as a kid, and it still is to this day. I knew this park was special to me, but I didn’t know how special it was to Sparks until later in my life.


My name is Donald Abbott and I am a Councilman for the city of Sparks, and a lifelong resident of ward one. What I just described are some of my most cherished memories at my favorite park in the city, Longford. The city of Sparks is in no short supply of great parks, from the historic pool at Deer Park, to the winding river of Rock Park, and all the way out to Golden Eagle. Each park in the city of Sparks offers its own unique experience but Longford Park is one that will forever stand out to me. 


Longford is a park that most people simply drive past, but for the community members and those in the know, this park is like our own little secret garden, a place you can just enjoy. It’s even home to a Geocache that I have hidden and maintained! The park is aptly named after our sister city Longford, Ireland. It is a place that I was honored and fortunate enough to visit, and I was welcomed in like I had lived there my entire life. Even when I was halfway around the world, I felt like I was at home, and that’s what I want for the people who live, visit, and work here.


I believe one of our greatest assets in accomplishing this is through our city parks.I feel younger and nostalgic every time I step foot in one of our area parks, so when I saw an opportunity to give back and contribute to the grounds that meant so much to me, I jumped on it! In my line of work, I wear many titles, but one title that I hold as a badge of honor is being the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission, a board who’s work knows no end. They’re not only a group of dedicated leaders and civil service members, but a group of people that I have personally learned so much from. Every blade of grass, every piece of playground equipment, every light post and sidewalk is accounted for.

Our parks aren’t just some dedicated space sitting somewhere random in the city. Our parks are an extension of all of our back yards, and a good backyard starts with great stewardship, so I know our city’s parks are in great hands. The Parks and Recreation Commission and city services teams are hardworking teams and I have nothing but the utmost gratitude and appreciation for them and the work they do. 


We have our city services to keep us comfortable, but I also recognize the love from the volunteers of our community and it’s people like yourself. From the children I see picking up trash, to the grandparents out for a walk who take a moment to pluck the errant dandelion out of the grass; all of us who visit, enjoy and give the love back to our parks are stewards as well.


What I want more than anything is to get the word out about our many great parks. I want to encourage every reader to go out and spend time at your favorite park or discover a new one! Whether you go out to take photos and chat with friends, or leave the tech at home and relax outside, we want you to feel comfortable and provide you a place to unwind outside in the city of Sparks. 

#SparksProud

- Donald Abbott

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