Newest recreation amenity now open

The Cason Hammock Recreation Area brings another pool to the southern end of The Villages.

Judy Elkins can picture her grandkids splashing in the pool and playing corn toss at the new Cason Hammock Recreation Area that opened Thursday. Judy and her husband, Stew, moved into the Village of Cason Hammock on Dec. 16 and eagerly waited for the amenities to open in their new neighborhood. “We’re new residents, we come from north of Toronto,” Stew said. “So it’s really nice to have a pool right in our back yard, essentially.” Judy agreed, saying she looks forward to meeting new neighbors and having a space for family to enjoy when they visit. “We have seven grandkids so they’ll really enjoy having a pool and the (corn toss) games here,” Judy said. Residents celebrated the grand opening of Cason Hammock Recreation Area on Thursday  with members of The Villages Recreation and Parks Department. Cason Hammock is west of the Village of Citrus Grove off Meggison Road and is the newest neighborhood in The Villages.

The Elkinses are two of the first residents to move into the brand-new village, and Stew said he is starting to see more people walking through the neighborhood.

“I just know in a few weeks all the houses around us will fill up with neighbors,” he said. “We really love it here even though we’re new, and we can’t wait for our neighborhood to be our new home.”

Pete Youngs, of the Village of Bradford, was the first resident to arrive at Cason Hammock Recreation Area on Thursday morning and had the honor of cutting the official ribbon at the pool.

“I’ve been in The Villages about two years now,” he said. “It’s always great to come and see the new features whenever they first open up.”

Pam Henry, recreation manager of lifestyles, parks and public relations with the Recreation and Parks Department, said the ribbon-cutting events at new amenities never get old for her.

“It’s always a good day when we get to have a facility open,” she said. “I’m glad there is another area for residents to enjoy their active lifestyle.”

Henry said residents of Cason Hammock now have a neighborhood pool and recreation area to complement the nearby Ezell Regional Recreation Complex and soon to be open Homestead Recreation Center.

Chris Iannello, recreation supervisor at Homestead, said the past few months have been full of activity.

“Between new villages opening, Ezell being available to the public and Homestead opening by the end of January, it’s an exciting time to be in The Villages,” he said. “It means a lot that we can offer new places for residents to have fun and be active, as well as meet people and make new friends.”

Nadia Whittaker, recreation area manager at Ezell Regional Recreation Complex, agreed.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting and getting to know the residents who live in the area,” she said.

Staff writer Maddie Cutler can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5386, or