Nyack's Memorial Park has seen , and more transformations are on the horizon—some of them, however, may depend on the charity of local residents.
A portion of the park's playground for about two months. Village officials removed swings, clubhouses and two jungle-gym sets, noting the equipment was outdated and dangerous.
The replacement swings will be arriving any day, said mayor Jen Laird-White. The fresh set cost about $20,000.
Replacement jungle-gym equipment is more expensive, however, Laird-White said, running between $30,000 to $40,000 per piece. The village is unable to finance those, so Laird-White is hoping residents will pitch in.
"We hope to raise the money for two large climbing structures," she said.
The village will set up a tax-deductible playground donation fund in the coming weeks.
The park draws families from surrounding homes and more far-flung locales, too. Sheryl Fischer of Monsey was visiting the park recently with her husband and three children, ages two, six and 12.
"I'd like to see more activities for all ages," she said.
In about three weeks, baseball field renovations will begin. The entire field will be graded and seeded in time for the coming baseball season, officials said.
"Fall is the best time for planting grass," Laird-White said, noting improved aesthetics could rope in more sporting events and picnics.
Further landscaping plans include plants and bushes around the basketball court and playground, and a children’s garden near the Butterfly Garden.
"It will be used as a children's learning garden," Laird-White said. The $10,000 grant money secured by assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) is already in hand, she added.
Other tentative changes include swapping the fishing pier's gravel with pavement, dropping in more lawn chairs and picnic tables, and moving the parking lot further from the Hudson.
"It's bad for the water to have cement and cars so close," Laird-White said.
The new furniture may be moveable.
"The more that people can work it to their advantage, so that the space is more accessible for their needs, the better," Laird-White said. Each night, the furniture would be stowed away to prevent theft.
Laird-White said a winter ice skating area could be in the park's future, as well.
Many folks who rely on Memorial Park as a place to play basketball have been pleased with the new court, completed in June; its permeable surface allows water to seep into the ground.
"[It's] much easier to play on, and there are fewer injuries," said Valley Cottage resident Justin Hoffman, 22, who plays about once a week.
"It's great for people to be able to play basketball of all ages—and definitely something people can do to stay out of trouble and stay fit," said Richard Brown, a 26-year-old Nyacker.
Laird-White noted the park is a rare commodity in Rockland.
“[It] is really the only water front park for a lot of county residents," she said.