Posts Tagged ‘Kendrick Park’

Join the Kendrick Park Children’s Playscape Facebook group

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Kendrick Park Childrens' Playscape I have gotten a few emails and Facebook messages regarding the effort to get a Playscape or other improvements for Kendrick Park. I would like to suggest to everyone to join the Facebook group as it is easier to communicate in the open forum and get information out to everyone most quickly in that fashion.

If you have an interest in helping out or just keeping up of the news and events please consider joining. If you know of others that would be interested or that can help please forward them along the information.

The link to the Facebook group is “Kendrick Park Children’s Playscape”

MY TAKE – A Playscape for Kendrick Park

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Kendrick Park Childrens' Playscape 

In this morning’s Record Journal there is a story regarding the interest of getting a playscape to the park. As I mentioned to Robert Cyr, the reporter that called me yesterday to speak about it, the only way that park or really any other park in town is going to see any type of upgrades or added amenities is if residents and neighbors band together to raise the funds for the materials and to pay for the construction labor.

As the story points out and through my own comments – the town is cutting back on services, critical ones like EMTs; there is no way the town is going to fund anything extra for the parks and we’re lucky they are not cutting back further on maintenance and upkeep.

There are even those in town that don’t want residents or special interest groups to take on initiatives like this or the Linear Park over at Community Lake (as one additional example) because they maintain the narrow view of “once it’s built the town has to maintain it and all these extras cost more and have to be funded out of the tax base.”

We are talking about a few hundred additional dollars each year that basically doesn’t equate to a dollar in additional taxes on homeowners yearly. It’s a poor position to take in my opinion. People expect recreational areas and expect them to be maintained. If people came together to fully fund additions to a park which the end result was an additional dollar in taxes each year for the extra maintenance only the most frugal and petty would complain about it.

With respect to leading the cause, I simply cannot do it. I have a full plate with my new job in New York City (I wrote this post and put it online from the Metro North train), my four kids, the upcoming fundraising season for the Wallingford Fireworks Fund (and I have to find a new supplier – Telstar who has presented the show for more than a decade been bought out). With all of this I am also already committed to another additional effort in the coming months (announcement forthcoming) that is going to take up the last bit of my free time after the fireworks are all set in July.

I can help out anyone that wants to take the reigns on this – I simply don’t have enough free time to lead the effort.

If anyone else is able and willing, I can most certainly pitch in.

Organizing park fans hope to build playscape

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

As printed in the Record Journal Thursday, December 23, 2010

By Robert Cyr
Record-Journal staff

rcyr@record-journal.com
(203) 317-2224

Kendrick Park Childrens' PlayscapeWALLINGFORD — Dozens of residents looking to possibly build a playscape at Kendrick Park similar to one across town have shown interest on a popular website’s page dedicated to the topic, started by a resident who wanted to gauge local support for a project. Local volunteer Jason Zandri — a name often tied to the town’s self-supported July 4 fireworks show — started the page on Facebook two months ago to see if there was interest in having a new children’s play set at the park. So far, the site has drawn 37 members.

“There’s really nothing in that park but a few old swing sets and a slide,” Zandri said. “The town isn’t going to dedicate any money to that — let’s be blunt about it. They’ve cut back on services across the town. It would take members of the community to bring that forward.”

But so far the interest, while real, has not gathered enough steam to form a group to go before town leaders, Zandri said. “I know the ropes to help somebody, but I can’t lead it,” Zandri said. “With a couple of years’ worth of work and fundraisers, you could definitely put enough money together.”

A small, quality playground could cost as little as $30,000, he said, although the town’s Doolittle Park playscape cost about $120,000.

The first step toward getting a new playground would be a phone call to the Parks and Recreation Department, said Director John Gawlak. Once a group has decided it wants to act, he said, his department could help it take the best routes to get there.

“If they would fully fund it, I’m sure the town would say ‘Bravo!’ ” Gawlak said.

In the event that a group raises enough money, a donation could be made to the town for that purpose — since the park is town-owned property and any labor that takes place there falls under the town’s liability, he said. When the Doolittle Park playscape was constructed in October 2005, in the space of nine hours, volunteers pitched in and saved the town $20,000 in labor costs, Gawlak said. In order to do any kind of work on town land, each volunteer needs temporary insurance.

“I don’t know why people don’t just call us on this kind of thing,” he said.

At least one website member, Whittlesey Avenue resident Peter Johns, wrote a comment supporting a potential project to put a new playscape at the park.

“I grew up near Kendrick and spent tons of time there as a kid,” Johns wrote. “I always wondered why it didn’t have the cool features of a lot of the other local parks. I’m happy to join the group and support this effort.”

However, many town projects have had to be put on hold recently, with the weak economy and town resources stretched thin, said Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. A proposed skate park on town land near the Quinnipiac River got as far as detailed drawings and plans but had to be postponed, with more than $100,000 needed to go further, he said.

“Right now, money’s in short supply,” the mayor said. “We’re going to head into a very difficult next year. We’d have to know a lot more about it.”