Roo­sevelt Park rib­bon event shows makeover

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

QUEEN ANNE — Roo­sevelt Park has been ren­o­vated and now has a new cov­ered pavil­ion and ex­er­cise sta­tions among other fea­tures.

On Fri­day, Oct. 28, there was a rib­bon cut­ting at the park with state Sen. Ad­die Eckardt cut­ting the rib­bon while town Mayor Randy Esty helped af­ter giv­ing his speech in front of a host of dig­ni­taries from the lo­cal and state lev­els. The whole cer­e­mony with al­most 20 peo­ple was in front of the new pavil­ion with the Mary­land flag fly­ing.

“I con­sider Roo­sevelt Park Queen Anne’s best fea­ture be­sides our peo­ple and out­stand­ing vol­un­teer fire depart­ment,” Esty said dur­ing his speech.

The project be­gan with a dis­cus­sion years ago with Chip Price, then di­rec­tor of Project Open Space, who ad­vised the town to ap­ply for a grant with Com­mu­nity Parks and Play­grounds. Price is now di­rec­tor of parks for Queen Anne’s County and was in the au­di­ence.

“We re­ceived a [state] grant of $135,711 and we used that to put in four ex­er­cise sta­tions around a 1/3 mile walk­ing path, a new pavil­ion with ta­bles and seat­ing, a shade for the play­ground to pro­tect our chil­dren, and new benches around the park,” Esty said.

The ex­er­cise ma­chines, all out­door but in­di­vid­u­ally cov­ered, in­clude a re­cum­bent cy­cle, leg press, chest press, and el­lip­ti­cal. There also are two new large seated swings. The pavil­ion has six new pic­nic ta­bles and a dou­ble grill.

“Roo­sevelt is ex­pertly main­tained by Queen Anne’s County Parks by mu­tual agree­ment with the town. The park is 6.2 acres and has been used by many of our older town res­i­dents,” Esty said.

He then turned the pre­sen­ta­tion over to Penny Reynolds of Eas­ton who grew up in Queen Anne. She read a his­tory as told by her fa­ther, Robert “Gus” Gib­son.

“The original ded­i­ca­tion of Roo­sevelt Park was around 1934 when a track meet, ball game, and a ‘greased pig’ con­test was held with much fan­fare and grat­i­tude,” Reynolds read from her fa­ther’s state­ment.

The park’s name, “Roo­sevelt Park,” was used be­cause Franklin Roo­sevelt was the pres­i­dent in the 1930s and was meant as a trib­ute to him for his help in es­tab­lish­ing the Works Project Ad­min­is­tra­tion and cre­at­ing So­cial Se­cu­rity, Reynolds read.

Af­ter the Tri-County High School closed in 1945, the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion in Queen Anne’s County deeded the prop­erty to the town of Queen Anne, thanks to the as­sis­tance and in­flu­ence of Dr. Harry Rhodes, su­per­in­ten­dent of schools at the time. The town then as­sumed re­spon­si­bil­ity for its use and up­keep.

Many lo­cal politi­cians at­tended the rib­bon cut­ting for the newly ren­o­vated park, in­clud­ing State Del. Johnny Mautz, Del. Jeff Ghrist, Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sioner Robert Buckey, County Com­mis­sioner Jack N. Wil­son Jr., County Parks Prop­erty Man­ager David Chaires, and Queen Anne Town Com­mis­sioner Marty Eichel­man, among oth­ers.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

State Se­na­tor Ad­die Eckardt, left, cut the rib­bon at a cer­e­mony for the newly ren­o­vated Roo­sevelt Park in Queen Anne. On the right is Randy Esty, the town’s mayor.

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