The playground at Hasbrouck Park in New Paltz is at the end of its serviceable life and volunteers are being asked to help rebuild it, as was done 25 years ago. The New Paltz Village Board and the DPW assessed the playground’s condition in 2015, which is what put this plan into motion.
Over the last two-and-a-half decades, different playground features required DPW maintenance as they aged. But over time, some features became too difficult to patch back together and eventually needed to be removed.
It’s not as easy to build a playground as it was before the turn of the century, even with community help. New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers reported last week that he’s spent a considerable amount of time working out details for the build planned for September, and that while more volunteers are absolutely needed, there are other challenges weighing more heavily on his mind. In particular, he’s in need of a crane and a very big augur.
Seeking financial assistance for the playground
According to Rogers, that last build happened with the help of Central Hudson and Verizon workers who drilled holes into near-impenetrable bedrock to mount the structure. “That’s not an option this time,” said Rogers, and the kind of equipment needed is hard to find and expensive to rent. An ordinary rock augur isn’t big enough to do the job, but it’s possible volunteers can use one to reduce the cost. A machine the right size to pound through Hasbrouck bedrock is uncommon in the state, and renting one could run into high five figures, which Rogers calls “quite a big ask.”
The New Paltz Community Foundation and the Village of New Paltz are working together to support the construction of the new playground at Hasbrouck Park.
Individuals and businesses interested in supporting the new playground financially are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to the “New Paltz Community Foundation.” The Foundation is a 501(c)(3).
The new playground equipment is being funded largely with the Village’s recreation fee fund. Community members will also be heavily relied upon for the build, which starts Wednesday, September 25. “However, we need additional financial support for heavy equipment rentals and to make sure we don’t completely deplete the Village’s recreation fee fund,” said Rogers, who hopes that the next big project will involve resurfacing the basketball and pickle ball courts in front of St. Joseph’s Church.
The Village is seeking financial support across the following levels:
• $5k or above — Tier 1
• +$2.5k — Tier 2
• +$1k — Tier 3
• +$200 — Tier 4
Craig Shankles has been helping organize the community build and has also agreed to fabricate a unique metal plaque featuring the playground’s financial supporters.
Contributors should make checks payable to the “New Paltz Community Foundation” and mail them to: Village Hall (Playground Build), 25 Plattekill Avenue, New Paltz NY 12561.
To sign up to volunteer for the build, use this link: https://tinyurl.com/yygeojed
Donations can also be made using the Pay Pal link on the New Paltz Community Foundation, Inc. website.
If you have questions about the New Paltz Community Foundation, Inc., including its participation in the playground project, you can contact the Foundation at P.O. Box 1112, New Paltz, NY 12561 or check the Foundation out at its website: https://www.newpaltzfoundation.org.
The Village Board is working with the same company that managed the community build 25 years ago. According to Rogers, they were also the lowest bid for the new equipment. “They are an incredible resource, but the real work will be done by us,” Rogers said. “It’s a true community effort. Like an old-fashioned barn raising, this is an enormous undertaking.”
When the current playground was built, 600 volunteer shifts were filled. Village Board member William Wheeler Murray expects that many will be needed again. He said that a planned public-relations blitz right after Labor Day is hoped to bring in the remaining people needed to pull this mammoth project off.
Beginning on Wednesday morning, September 25 through Sunday, September 29, it will be all hands on deck. “This is a few-times-every-century project, said Rogers. “ Once a generation, we come together as a community and give our time and energy to a project of joy. As we recruit volunteers, some folks tell us about their experience with the last community build. It is heartening to see the history of our community through the lens of this playground: people who were too young to participate last time are excited to contribute; parents whose children have grown up conjure memories of building the existing playground; and leaders of the last build lend their advice, joking about organizing a project of this magnitude before cell phones, Facebook and online sign-up forms. We are excited for this playground build, and look forward to even more memories that will be made at Hasbrouck Park.”