With school out for the summer, area parks have become a common ground for children and adults to relax and play. The Fund for the Region, administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, has provided grants to local parks to assist in making the summer one to remember.
For the past five weeks, the Jamestown Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department hosted a Summer Playground Program geared toward children ages 5-13 years old. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., children took part in arts and crafts, playground games and citywide field trips. The six participating parks were: Allen Park, Fletcher Elementary School, Johnson Street Tot Lot, Lillian Dickson Park, Lincoln Elementary School and Ring Elementary School. The program was supervised by local college students, many of whom are studying education.
Another aspect to making the summer enjoyable for area residents is to make safety a priority. For the past few years, the Fund for the Region has supported a number of initiatives at Lillian Dickson Park, including a community-wide cleanup. Recently, a grant was awarded to support a new playground structure for children under the age of 5.
Children enjoy playing at Fletcher Elementary School.
Spearheading the efforts to revamp the park is The Friends of Lillian Dickson Park, a group of city residents committed to making the park a safe place for residents to gather year-round. Since last summer, the committee has coordinated community clean-ups, a "National Night Out" party and a neighborhood watch committee. Members have also discussed their safety concerns with the Jamestown Police Department, which resulted in additional officer patrols in the area. Members have noticed an increase in children playing kickball, baseball and other games in the park this summer.
Finally, the summer would not be complete without a trip to Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park to cheer on the Jamestown Jammers. Thursday's game celebrates 35 years of Caring and Giving while honoring the towns around our region. Free tickets have been distributed throughout the region and can be picked up at a number of local banks, restaurants and businesses. Tickets are also available at the Community Foundation office, 418 Spring St. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first pitch against the Staten Island Yankees thrown out at 7:05 p.m.
For questions about the Caring and Giving Campaign or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Fund for the Region, contact the Community Foundation at 661-3390 or visit online at crcfonline.org.