Story by Katie Bisaro
Warwick Playground Dreams, a non-profit community group working to upgrade the playground equipment at Stanley-Deming Park, gave a progress report to the Village Board of Trustees at their meeting on Mon., Mar. 5.
A presentation given by Hannelore Chambers addressed several issues that have come up over the course of finalizing plans for the new playground equipment. The plans for the playground are being created by Play By Design, an Ithaca, NY-based playground design company that works with communities on all phases of the project from design to construction. The upgraded playground will include equipment that is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Color Scheme: Natural Tones
Chambers reported that the color scheme has been modified to consist of natural colors – tans, browns, greens and blues – that will blend in well with the natural scenery of Stanley-Deming Park.
By contrast, the slides will be red which is an important safety feature for visually impaired children. The slides will be made of stainless steel, there are concerns that they will be too hot in the summer heat. To address that situation, the orientation of the slides off the equipment could be moved towards the north with less direct sunlight except at the height of summer. It is also possible to make them tubed slides.
Concerns About Height of Structures
Another concern that has been brought up is the height of the planned castle structure. According to Chambers, the structure’s platform will be six feet off the ground with towers that rise 15 to 18 feet. However, in a modification, the towers will not be roofed but will have crenellated (battlement) tops and no real means to climb to the top.
Trustee George McManus commented that he felt the structure was still a safety and liability issue at that height. Chambers pointed out that Play By Design is known for going “above and beyond” with respect to safety requirements. Mayor Michael Newhard said that he will have the risk management team review the plans specifically with regards to the height of the structures for recommendations.
“We have to look at every aspect,” said Mayor Newhard.
Potential ‘Hiding Places’
Addressing the concern of the new equipment being used as “hiding spots” for teens, Chambers explained that all railings on the large structures will be an “open” concept rather than a solid wall so that anyone on the structure will be seen. Additionally, the Onion House, a quiet-space structure that is part of the plan, will be moved to a more open area that can be viewed from the road. Newhard pointed out that there are also security cameras in the area proposed for the Onion House.
Musical Instruments & Noise Levels
The proposed plans also include musical instruments such as xylophones and drums. Residents who live near the park have expressed concerns regarding potential elevated noise levels. Chambers provided information on the decibel levels expected from these features and explained that they will be positioned in such a way as to have the sound buffered by the structures. She will send the Mayor and Trustees links showing the different choices for their input on specific pieces.
Discussions to Resume on Splash Pad
The topic of a proposed “splash pad” was brought up and Chambers reported that the idea was “on hold” as the group was waiting for feedback from the Village Board on the matter. Trustee Eileen Patterson commented that she would like move forward with the discussion on the splash pad in order to find an approach to the proposal that would address the concerns about water use and run-off. A work session will be scheduled to revisit the splash pad proposal.
UAME Church to Hold Health Fair
The Union African Methodist Episcopal (UAME) Church will hold a Health Fair on Sat., Apr. 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Railroad Green in the Village of Warwick. The rain date is Sat., Apr. 28 at the same time.
Pastor Rev. Ann Marie Bentsi-Addison Posey and Sister Denise Smith spoke briefly to the Board of Trustees about the Health Fair. Blood pressure testing, blood and diabetes screenings will be offered as well as consultations in mental health, physical therapy, and nutrition. Partners in this event include St. Anthony Community Hospital, Optimum Performance Physical Therapy, American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.
Mayor Newhard suggested reaching out to the Orange County Dept. of Health for other ideas for the Health Fair and possible participation.
Pastor Posey remarked that the Health Fair is an opportunity to “move the church outside of the walls.” Posey added, “If we’re not intermingling with the community, then we’re not really doing what we’re called to do.”
Duck Derby: Sun., May 20
Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center will hold its annual Duck Derby on Sun., May 20 at 1:30 p.m. in the Linear Park (in the Chase Bank lot on South St., along the Wawayanda Creek).
Numbered yellow ducks, purchased by supporters of the riding center, will be put into the creek at Linear Park and will “race” downstream. The “winners” will receive prizes at the conclusion of the Derby.
Applefest Slated for Sun., Oct. 14
The Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce will be holding the 30th Annual Applefest on Sun., Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Village of Warwick. As in past years, several streets will be closed and municipal lots will be utilized to hold the event.
Parking will be available in Veteran’s Memorial Park and activities for children will take place in Stanley-Deming Park.
Previously, questions arose regarding the event as the Warwick Valley Community Center was not named on the permit applications as in past years. Traditionally, Applefest was publicized as a fundraising event for the Community Center.
Newhard advised the Board that he has confirmed with both Executive Director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce Michael Johndrow and President of the Community Center Bill Steinauer that Applefest will continue to benefit the Community Center as in past years.
Next Meeting Set for Mar. 19
The next Village Board meeting will take place on Mon., Mar. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick NY.