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Parks and Rec seeing successful programs, generous donations

April 17, 2018
The Parks and Recreation Department had some troubles with weather, but has seen high participation and some generous donations in recent months.

Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene gave the board of selectmen a semi-annual update from his department on Wednesday. According to a recording of the meeting Greene updated the selectmen on the different programs, activities, and events going on in Parks and Rec.

Greene said October's massive rain and wind storm damaged the dugouts at Stonewall Park. One was destroyed while the other was flipped over and the side was blown out. Greene said they decided to take the insurance money and completely redo both of the dugouts. Public Works helped remove the old dugouts and Gilford Cal Ripken will be at the front of the effort to replace them. Greene said they hope to have this done by the end of spring.

They also replaced the roof on the ice rink's maintenance building. The project was approved last fall and Greene said they finally had decent weather to do it.

Greene thanked Drew's Affordable Steel Roofing for donating around a quarter of the cost of the project, which Greene said helped keep construction costs down.

Selectman Gus Benavides asked if the town had sent a thank you letter to Drew's Affordable Steel Roofing. Greene said Parks and Rec had, though Benavides asked for town administrator Scott Dunn to send one on behalf of the town.

"Having a metal roof down there, hopefully, will take care of maintenance issues for years to come," Greene said.

Due to the cold temperatures in mid December, they were able to open the ice rink around the holidays. Greene said mild temperatures in late January impacted the second half of their season and they would have to close it for two or three day periods. They made the decision to close the rink for the season on Feb. 26, though the rink had been mostly closed before that. In total the ice rink was open for 47 days, which Greene said is typical.

Parks and Rec's seasonal activities have been a big success. The Halloween party has around 175 kids in attendance, with more than 40 middle and high school students helping out. Santaland with the Gilford Youth Center brought in around 385 kids over the two days.

The Learn to Ski program at Gunstock had 85 participants, its biggest turnout and double the amount from last year. Greene said one factor might have been that kids taking part in the program got season passes.

"There are a lot of people who saw added value to it because their children got a season pass," Greene said.

The Easter events also got big numbers. The Flashlight Egg Hunt had around 150 participants, which was up from the past few years despite the snowy and muddy conditions. The next day around 200 people came to Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, co-hosted with the GYC.

Planning is underway for Old Home Day and Greene said the Old Home Day Committee recently had its first meeting of the season.

"We're looking for to continue preparing for that day and overall looking for to a great spring and a busy upcoming summer season," Greene said.

Martin Lord Osman
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