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Memorial Park Construction: No More Tennis

Plan calls for greener Memorial Park; basketball court to be replaced

After years of discussions and planning, alterations to Memorial Park are underway.

The basketball court is under construction—soon, players will have a place to shoot with night lighting, and pavement that reduces rain run-off.

The tennis courts are gone, too, but Nyack mayor Jen Laird-White said she is looking into areas in the village for new, public courts to replace the removed ones.

“We want the park to be greener,” she said. “We want to have more room for kids to play, or for people to picnic.”

Removing the tennis courts will add some more grassy areas, Laird-White added, and may bring more sports into Nyack.

“We’re hopefully going to come up with more recreation in Nyack, like football, soccer or lacrosse,” she said.
 
Laird-White and village administrator James Politi both said the plan is to have the baseball field ready for the start of Little League season in the fall.

Laird-White noted everything looking to be done at the park hinges on grant money. She added they have a grant worth about $10,000 secured for Nyack by assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee to build a new children’s garden at the park, which would go parallel to the butterfly garden.

The new basketball court is being paid for with a $97,000 matching state grant, with Nyack matching the grant dollar-for-dollar with in-kind services that are being used to tear up the old courts.

Politi said Nyack also has a grant for about $150,000 to fix up the fishing pier at Memorial Park. That grant expires next year, Laird-White said. Politi added the hope is that new pier will be accessible to those with disabilities by making it an easier surface to move on than the gravel that is currently there.

“That project will have a significant cost because you have to go into the water,” he added.

There are other things the village is looking into for Memorial Park—including a portable ice skating rink for winters—but there is one major change in the plans, too: getting rid of the parking spots at Memorial Park looking out into the Hudson River and at the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Laird-White said the plan would be to move the parking spots over to the marina side.

“That way people can still sit in their cars and look out at the water and the bridge,” she said. “We know that people really like doing that.”

The key component of doing that, the mayor said, is getting people back into the park.

“We need to figure out how to get people across the inlet,” she said. “We’ve talked about a foot bridge or walkway around inlet.”

She said the village is still in the planning stages of that, and hopes they’d be able to secure grant money for that project, as well.

With the parking spots gone, the plan is to then make that area all green, as well as add in some more picnic tables and benches. This would allow people to sit out in the park right near the water and Laird-White hopes bring more people to Memorial Park. 

“We have an unbelievable beautiful spot on the Hudson. While it’s served us well, from a play standpoint there aren’t enough opportunities,” she said. “We want to expand our programing for local kids, and make it a more beautiful version of what it already is.”

Dash January 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I think it's a great idea. Finally our park will be pedestrian friendly as opposed to car friendly. Can't wait to sit by the river without cars idling behind me. Good work, Jen.
jane Barch January 11, 2012 at 03:49 PM
A greener space is a wonderful concept. Directlyvacross the Hudson, Irvington's park emphasizes pedestrian access for lunchtime, walking, picnicing as ours now will. Some pocket parking for those who wish to remain in their vehicles is fair as well. Off to a great start, Jen! Jane Barch
Judy Martin January 11, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I'm sorry that tennis will be eliminated. It's a lifetime sport that doesn't need large groups to play nor large space, and it seemed to draw heavy use from people of all ages. I don't see picnics if football is played just yards away. Any chance we could see a Nyack resident permit for park use? Or at least for the parking for park use? I think that would encourage resident use a lot!
Desiree January 11, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Shame about the tennis courts -- unfortunately they have been is such a state of disrepair for so long that I'm sure they appeared to be under-used. However, if they weren't a hazard to play on, I'm certain that they would have seen much more action. I find it hard to understand how, on the one hand the argument for getting rid of the tennis courts is to encourage "people to picnic” but on other hand say that it will attract "more sports". Frankly, it sounds like the village is just trading tennis for another (field) sport. While I commend the desire to have space for "kids to play" -- e.g., children's garden, Little League Field, Basketball court -- and what about places (other than the Nyack bars) for adults to play? Perhaps it is also worth pointing out that children have been known to play tennis...
C.j. Fisher January 12, 2012 at 01:28 AM
what about a skatepark? that would be nice...
Bruce January 12, 2012 at 02:42 AM
What about the large senior population who can't walk down the hill to the park? Or even the handicap? Also, bad idea to move the bball court next to the playground. Evidently the powers that be never listened to the language spewed in street ball.
H January 12, 2012 at 03:34 AM
There is A reason why this plan was so long in the making. And just when is the completion date ? Lets just all and everyone just hang out in black bear.
H January 12, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Mayberry on Acid , NYACK NY.
elizabeth February 10, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Finally getting rid of all those stinky and loud cars! Bravo! Great job, Jen. As for Seniors not being able to walk down, baloney! My parents and their friends are all in their 60's-70's, and they walk just fine! Besides there's plenty of free parking on Depew and Piermont Aves. How about a sign asking people not to feed the ducks and geese. It causes much unsightly poop, and harmful bacteria to people and pets. It's also very unhealthy for the ducks and geese! Have you every seen some of the crap they feed these poor animals?
Walt February 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
That's great Elizabeth, as long as your folks and their friends can make it down the hill, that's all that matters.
elizabeth February 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Check with most doctors of "Seniors," and see if they recommend sedentary life styles. I happen to do business with many "Seniors" in Nyack, and all of them deliberately walk for miles every day, play tennis, go to gyms, etc. Your attitude about Seniors is not only out dated, but from a health perspective, wrong. Walking is healthy for just about everyone, especially Seniors.
Walt February 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
,,,,and the handicapped? What about them?
elizabeth February 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM
They will have some spots reserved for them.
Karen Tarapata March 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Eliminating the tennis courts is not a bad idea. I think most folks use the HS courts.
Gina April 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM
All this money spent...and what about the state of the children's playground???? The wood equipment is riddled with splinters and in serious need of repair. And the fact that there isn't a more child-friendly ground cover is absurd. Tire pieces are unsafe (choking hazard for smaller kids) and also cause many falls.
Anthony June 16, 2012 at 02:59 AM
i think they should have paid more attention to astetics and removed all the concrete debris from the park. they are an eyesore and will only stain the final results

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