Chambers Park plans discussed
— 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, visit www.comcastinthecommunity.com.
For more information and updates on the park project, search for “Chambers Park Partners” on Facebook.