Hartley Buick and Jamestown Awning are the first business contributors to the Lillian Dickson Park fundraising campaign. A fundraising goal of $37,500 has been set by the volunteers and neighbors of the park to purchase preschool playground equipment and install it by September.
Fundraising efforts for the Lillian Dickson Park are in full swing. Mailings to area businesses have been sent. Grant requests are being prepared. An additional mailing to residents in the vicinity of LDP is planned, and fundraising activities are being planned for the spring and summer.
"We've begun turning this park into a symbol of community pride and rejuvenation," said David Reinhart, LDP chairman and neighbor. "We have our work cut out for us in 2013, but a great group of volunteers has come forward to make this project happen."
Lead business donors, LDP stakeholders and volunteers stand at the Lillian Dickson Park with the architectural rendering of new playground equipment. Left to right are: Andy Dickson, built environment consultant for Creating Healthy Places; Paula Hofgren, LDP volunteer; David Reinhart, LDP chairman; Mark Saxton, owner of Jamestown Awning; Bill Hartley and Mike Hartley of Hartley Buick; Mary Maxwell, neighborhood project associate of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation; Randall Sweeney, executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The LDP volunteers and neighbors have made significant strides last year to bring attention to the need for park improvements. During the Hands On Jamestown event in May, the volunteers painted the pavilion, removed brush and fallen debris, installed new fall-zone materials under the existing equipment and planted flowers by the park sign. Kickball games and kids activities were organized during the summer with the help of the Eastside YMCA. A Neighborhood Watch was established, and nearly 200 neighbors turned out on National Night Out to show their support. Fundraising activities have generated $1,600 to date.
Impetus for the park improvements came from Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work, and Play, a project funded by the New York State Department of Health and administered by the Chautauqua County Health Network. CHP is creating policy, systems and environmental changes in the community to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.
"Creating Healthy Places is working with schools, municipalities, not-for-profits, congregations and community groups to achieve sustainable change that will help our families eat well and be more active," said Janet Forbes, CHP project coordinator. "The Lillian Dickson Park project was a perfect opportunity to engage the neighborhood and bring together diverse partners for positive change."
Located on Falconer Street between Sturges and Bowen, the park is the former site of School No. 10 and is named in honor of the school's first principal, Lillian Dickson, who served from 1893 until 1933.
Tax-deductible contributions to the LDP project can be made to the Lillian Dickson Park Non-Endowed Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown NY 14701 or online at www.crcfonline.org.
The next meeting of the Lillian Dickson Park volunteers will be Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Renaissance offices at Third and Washington streets. Neighbors and people interested in volunteering to improve the park are welcome to attend.
For more information about the Lillian Dickson Park Project, contact David Reinhart at 450-2688.