The rebuilding of the playground at Hasbrouck Park in New Paltz has been officially scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 through Sunday, September 29. The construction will be conducted under the supervision of the Village’s Department of Public Works, but will “require hundreds of volunteers,” according to Ariana Basco, assistant to the mayor and Village Board. “We have an extremely tight timeline to be able to organize the number of volunteers we need.” Donations of tools and materials are also being sought by the project organizers.
Somewhat complicating the execution of the project is the fact that the trustee who has taken the lead on researching the reconstruction project over the past several years, Dennis Young, was voted off the Village Board. He remains involved with the effort, however, and has created a dedicated Facebook account at www.facebook.com/pages/category/playground/hasbrouck-park-playground-652041898598914 to provide updates on the organization of the rebuild. “Dennis began this while he was on the board, but I do not believe that anyone (except for Bleu [Terwilliger]) understood what an enormous undertaking this is,” Basco wrote in an e-mail to the core group of volunteers organizing the project. She has offered to serve as a “behind-the-scenes” project manager until other volunteers step up.
A design firm called Playgrounds by Leathers was engaged by the Village to draw up plans for the renovation. While incorporating many of the same play features and “castle” silhouette that characterized the original playground built in 1996, and slated to occupy essentially the same footprint, the new design will substitute structural plastic lumber for the original pressure-treated wood, which has grown splintery over time. The plastic boards are made from recycled milk jugs, using fiberglass strands for structure, tensile strength and to simulate woodgrain. Some of the design changes are necessary to bring the playground into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many new features will make the structures more accessible for children with special needs.
Persons wishing to get involved as volunteers on the various committees can sign up for the listserv by e-mailing their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up to participate during the construction phase, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/8050945A5A829A5FC1-community. On this website, volunteers can choose particular shifts when they will be available. Morning (8 a.m. to noon) and afternoon (12:30 to 5 p.m.) shifts will need 70 each of skilled and unskilled volunteers on Wednesday and Thursday, 100 of each on Saturday and 75 of each on Sunday. The evening shift, 5:30 to 8 p.m., calls for 80 each of skilled and unskilled volunteers on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 75 on Saturday; no evening session is planned for Sunday.
The criterion for “skilled” is being able to cut a straight line with a circular saw, coincidentally often known by the brand name of Skilsaw. There will also be opportunities for children aged 10 and up to participate as volunteers. According to Leathers Associates project manager Kyle Cundy, “Our ‘kid rules’ for the build are as follows: No one under 10 years old allowed on-site – must report to childcare. 10-13 must be within arms’ reach of their parent at all times. 14-17 may work independently (some projects have permission/waiver forms for parent info in case they need to be contacted to pick up their children). No one under the age of 18 is allowed to use power tools.” The group is seeking to make St. Joseph’s Church available as a childcare center for volunteers. “We need adults who can lift/build as well as kid involvement,” Village trustee Michele Zipp emphasized.
During the period of the actual reconstruction, September 25 to 29, the rest of Hasbrouck Park will remain open to the public. The playset will not.
Persons wishing to get involved as volunteers on the various committees can sign up for the listserv by e-mailing their contact information to email@example.com. To sign up to participate during the construction To sign up to participate during the construction phase, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/8050945A5A829A5FC1-community.