Recreation Commission moves forward

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council on Tuesday heard about the Recreation Commission’s efforts to secure support to undertake revitalization projects in city parks and a possible project to overhaul the city basketball court.

City Clerk Jennifer Mazur reported during Tuesday’s meeting that the Recreation Commission sent letters to about 50 local businesses in and around the city seeking sponsorships or donations to help fund the commission as they look to expand their role beyond organizing city events.

“They have a lot of ideas for bringing back a lot of the parks that aren’t used anymore, expanding the parks, so we’re just trying to grow our own balance to be able to do more than just events. We want to do community outreach, we want to do upgrading, revitalizing, new equipment, maybe opening sublots that have been closed for a few years,” Mazur said.

The new direction for the Recreation Commission falls in line with the city’s decision to expand the role of the city clerk this year to become more active in economic development and to take an administrative role over the Recreation Commission as the committee’s city liaison to help coordinate and organize activities and other special events.

“The committee has a lot of ideas of ways that they want to improve and revitalize the city parks, not just to make them more aesthetically pleasing, but to make them more functional for the residents that want to use them,” Mazur said.

Mazur also shared early details on a potential revitalization initiative to renovate and improve Elk Street Park following the concept of the national non-profit organization, Project Backboard.

Project Backboard partners with artists to redesign public basketball courts, painting bright murals that are locally significant on the courts after making any necessary improvements.

The city is currently considering a project that would be funded through donations from local businesses and other private donations to restore the basketball court and potentially expand the surrounding park area of the Elk Street Park.

Additionally, a mural would be designed and painted on the basketball court by art students from the Gloversville Enlarged School District.

Mazur said that she recently toured the park with Mayor Vincent DeSantis, Downtown Development Specialist Jennifer Jennings, GESD Superintendent David Halloran, a district art teacher, neighborhood residents and Mary Moore Wallinger of the LAndArt Studio design firm to discuss the possible project.

“It’s actually a much bigger park than I even knew was there,” Mazur said. “It was really a great meeting and a great talk, there are many options.”

Wallinger, a landscape artist who has designed a number of park projects in Schenectady, will prepare a design concept for the Elk Street Park project.

“Mary Moore Wallinger is a very accomplished landscape architect,” DeSantis said. “She really likes Gloversville, she comes up to have lunch at the co-op and different things, so she was kind of excited about it and was very pleased with the input that we got from a couple of the residents there, they were kind of enthusiastic about it, so it’s a really positive thing.”

“It’s something new to look forward to,” Mazur added.

By Patricia Older

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