Those who brave the winter weather to visit LaGrande Park will be rewarded with several new developments, some of which may be utilized almost immediately, with some changes scheduled to be completed before the ball drops for 2012.
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr wanted to ease the concerns of fiscally conscious residents, stating that the improvements were funded primarily through the use of grants.
“We are very pleased with all the improvements that are focused on renovating what we have and bringing in aspects that will enhance the future of our parks,” Mahr stated. “These improvements are part of a larger picture of mapping out how we improve our recreational facilities and leveraging grant monies the best we can,” she said.
Among the most noticeable improvements will be the installation of a 30-foot by 44-foot wooden-arched, open-air pavilion, including tables and benches, among the trees that surround the path near the rink area. The pavilion is sure to provide wonderful opportunities for family picnics, town events and even school field trips. Participants of Fanwood Recreation’s Summer Park Program will be sure to delight in arts and crafts activities at the new pavilion come summer time.
A new basketball court will feature two new backboards and supports, a bi-color painted playing surface, and two new benches will replace the current one, which was showing its age.
Those nostalgic for the days when ice skaters graced the park have one more winter venture to look forward to this season. The circular rink area will be fully resurfaced for ice skating, and the cracks that once leaked water will finally be mended.
The area in front of the LaGrande Park recreation building will also be resurfaced. The loss of a few large trees in recent years has left this area pockmarked with cutouts in the asphalt. The resurfacing will smooth out this area, making it safer to walk across.
By the spring, children’s games such as hopscotch and foursquare will be painted on part of the new surface. A ring of planters placed around building combined with the aforementioned additions will ensure that the building returns as an attractive centerpiece for the entire park.
Next spring and summer, baseball and softball leagues will be able take advantage of a new electronic scoreboard. Donated by Fanwood Youth Organization Baseball (FYO), the scoreboard will be available to all leagues using the park. Non-FYO leagues will need to contact FYO to arrange for its usage.
“The revenues brought in by the different activities run by Fanwood Recreation, such as the annual 5K Race & Family Fun Run, paid for a substantial portion of the cost of these improvements,” said Fanwood Director of Recreation Bob Budiansky. “The Recreation Commission is already considering additional park improvements that we can delegate future revenues to,” he said.