Cham­bers Park plans dis­cussed

Times-Record - - Front Page - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­

— The Federalsburg Lions Club hosted a public meet­ing Wed­nes­day, Feb. 28, at the Federalsburg li­brary, to find out what res­i­dents want to see hap­pen as the or­ga­ni­za­tion heads up a re­vi­tal­iza­tion of Cham­bers Park.

Work­ing with the Town

of Federalsburg and the Caro­line County Depart­ment of Recre­ation and Parks, the Lions Club will com­plete the project in two phases, the first of which will con­cen­trate on the area bor­dered by Reliance Av­enue and Cham­bers Street and Lib­erty Road.

The meet­ing Feb. 28, led by Kim Ab­ner, of the Lions Club, and Sue Sim­mons, di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Recre­ation and Parks, asked peo­ple for their mem­o­ries of the park grow­ing up, ev­ery im­prove­ment they want to see and which ones should be pri­or­i­tized as fund­ing be­comes avail­able.

“This is one of the first mu­nic­i­pal parks in Caro­line County,” said Sim­mons. “It’s a legacy park, worth hon­or­ing and pre­serv­ing.”

Af­ter a walk-through ear­lier in Fe­bru­ary, Sim­mons said, the part­ners on the re­vi­tal­iza­tion project al­ready have a list of ideas to get started, in­clud­ing re­mov­ing some of the trees to in­crease sun­light, us­ing the back wall of the hand­ball court as an out­door movie screen, adding a walk­ing trail, adding a dog park, im­prov­ing park­ing and restor­ing and im­prov­ing the ball fields, log cabin, com­mu­nity build­ing, grilling area and play­ground.

Fur­ther, the Lions Club have an item­ized list of $41,000 in im­prove­ments it plans to make to the com­mu­nity build­ing alone, in­clud­ing a new heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing unit, bath­room and kitchen ren­o­va­tions, paint­ing, land­scap­ing, ex­te­rior light­ing and new floor­ing. Ab­ner said the Lions Club just signed a con­tract for the heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing unit pur­chase and in­stal­la­tion.

Ab­ner also said the town’s mayor and coun­cil had just voted ear­lier that week to re­open the road that goes through the park. It will be shut down to the public dur­ing ball games and other spe­cial events, she said.

Sim­mons started the con­ver­sa­tion with the public in at­ten­dance by ask­ing what they re­mem­bered from grow­ing up with the park.

Peo­ple rem­i­nisced about birth­day par­ties in the log cabin; dances, Boy Scout meet­ings and karate lessons in the com­mu­nity build­ing; Easter egg hunts; swim­ming and fish­ing in Cham­bers Lake; a con­test to climb a greased pole to grab a $100 bill at the top; and Lit­tle League games.

“It clearly has been a hub of com­mu­nity gath­er­ings,” Sim­mons said.

Sim­mons asked for ad­di­tions to the list of pos­si­ble im­prove­ments.

Peo­ple sug­gested host­ing lo­cal swap and sell meets, im­prov­ing se­cu­rity light­ing and adding cam­eras, bocce and pick­le­ball courts, re­stored ten­nis courts, bike racks, more trash cans, re­cy­cling bins, per­ma­nent bath­room fa­cil­i­ties and new pic­nic ta­bles.

Sim­mons asked if there were cur­rent is­sues within the park or the sur­round­ing town that some im­prove­ments might ad­dress.

“That could help rank the pri­or­i­ties,” she said.

Res­i­dents said safety has been a con­cern for a long time.

Just hav­ing more peo­ple in the park, us­ing the play­ground or ball fields, could de­ter some of that un­wanted ac­tiv­ity, Sim­mons said.

Ab­ner, who said she moved to the town nine years ago, said she wants to see Fed­er­als­brg be a good town to walk to the park or the ma­rina.

“This is a great place to live; it just needs some tweak­ing,” she said.

Town Coun­cilmem­ber Scott Phillips said he thinks the com­mu­nity build­ing restora­tion is the linch­pin to turn­ing around the whole park.

Sim­mons said her depart­ment will work with the town and the Lions Club to get grants.

An­other fund­ing op­por­tu­nity was re­cently an­nounced: The project has been cho­sen to take part in Com­cast Cares Day.

For ev­ery vol­un­teer who reg­is­ters to help clean up the park from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­day, April 21, Com­cast will do­nate $20 to the project.

Ev­ery reg­is­tered vol­un­teer will get a T-shirt and lunch pro­vided by Com­cast.

To reg­is­ter, visit­castinthecom­mu­

For more in­for­ma­tion and up­dates on the park project, search for “Cham­bers Park Part­ners” on Face­book.

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