Committee presents potential ideas for Avalon Park
— Building a pergola, installing an observation deck and sprucing up area nature trails are just some of the ideas the Avalon Park Development Team suggested to town commissioners during a presentation last week.
The eight-member team was formed in March and given the task of figuring out how to turn Avalon Park Lot B into a waterfront park. In September, the town received a $90,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources to fund the renovations and the town has also pledged $10,000 to the project. Though the grant is specifically for Avalon Park Lot B, the team is also considering how to someday incorporate the adjacent Avalon Marina property, which the town bought last summer for $435,000, into the waterfront park design.
Mary Clark Confalone, a member of the team, gave a presentation on the group’s ideas at the town meeting last Tuesday, noting that the process is still in the planning stages.
The ideas presented focused on the three main areas spelled out in the grant guidelines: community programs, education and recreation.
Community programs could include Art in the Park and entertainment such as concerts, Confalone said. Education would encompass river safety classes and a
nature camp for kids while recreation would include kayaking and nature paths, she added.
Other ideas included building a pergola and an observation deck, both of which would be handicap accessible, installing environmentally-friendly items, such as solar path lights, and cleaning up the area.
The potential “Avalon stage”, or pergola, which could host community events, could be placed in a field between Peddler’s Creek and the North East River. The pergola structure would have to be sturdy enough to handle harsh weather and large volumes of people, Confalone said.
An observation deck could possibility be built between the parking lot and the North East River on the north side, she added.
The area already has one nature path that runs along the water and a separate one that leads to the river, where a bench may be located, Confalone said. Signs could also be added to help people identify the types of fish they might catch or birds they might see, she said. Confalone also said the committee has the idea to use the driftwood that washes up on shore for archways for nature path entrances.
“We’ve got a beautiful spot here on the river,” Confalone said of the area on Thursday.
No decisions were made on the ideas brought to the commissioners about the park, but Renee Capano, commissioner president, said she enjoyed the presentation.
“I like everything they came up with,” Capano said on Wednesday, noting she specifically liked the idea of the stage for music in the park nights as well as the nature paths and the educational signs.
In other business, town meetings will start at 7 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. starting with the July 12 meeting. The town meeting scheduled for June 28 was also canceled.
Charlestown is currently exploring ideas about how to develop Avalon Park Lot B.