GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Whenever she can, Elizabeth Little Hogan has been making daily visits to a newly under-construction spot at Crandall Park.
As the president of the Crandall Park Beautification Committee, Hogan has plenty of reason to want to check up on the latest in a line of projects she and her group have brought to the city’s biggest park.
That latest project is a fully functional splash pad, replacing the rock climbing wall in the park’s playground, which Hogan says should be up and running for kids to enjoy by Memorial Day weekend.
“We’re going to have a 5-foot apron of sod around the splash pad, and I asked how long we were going to have to wait after that for the grand opening,” Hogan said. “(The contractor) said probably about a week.”
On Monday, workers were digging out space for pipes to be laid, to run the water that will fountain out of the splash pad for kids to enjoy.
Hogan said the popularity of Crandall Park’s playground has only grown as childrens’ schedules have grown looser during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was calling it ‘the rise of unorganized play,'” Hogan said. “Now that kids don’t have every moment scheduled, more and more they’re using the park.”
The 30-foot-diameter splash pad was one of three projects the committee presented several years ago when applying for state funds. The other two were a disc golf course and redone basketball and tennis courts, both of which have now been completed.
But the first grant only supported the courts.
In order to tackle the splash pad project, the committee found some funding through a Charles R. Wood Foundation grant.
That grant contained $30,000, and was paired with a $20,000 challenge; if the park foundation could raise $20,000 in community donations on their own, the Charles R. Wood Foundation would match it.
“We had some nice donations come in, and we got a bit down to the wire, actually, but we made it.”
What the park needs
The courts, disc golf course and upcoming splash pad will complete a list of items the committee devised through a survey they sent out to community members in 2019.
In addition to members of the Glens Falls area community, the park is also used frequently by its next-door neighbor, the Glens Falls YMCA.
Looking ahead, the next projects the committee wants to tackle are less about adding more new things. The new courts can be seen from Glen Street, and the splash pad will be a central part of the park’s playground, so now it’s time to turn attention to what parts of the park could use some improvements to keep up.
“We can look at some of the roofs at the pavilion and the performance shell,” Hogan said. “We had someone cleaning the roof a few years back, and he said a roof under pine trees needs to be fixed up.”
That work will rely on future grants getting approved. Hogan is also eyeing getting more handicap accessibility options on pathways and parking lots.
In the meantime, the community around the committee continues to impress Hogan. She says use of Crandall Park has only gone up during COVIUD-19, and more appreciation for it seems to have risen in kind.
“On Earth Day I hosted a cleanup, and the number of people who came was amazing. We have such a nice community of people willing to donate their time.”
On June 12-13, the new disc golf course will be the home of the city’s first-ever disc golf tournament.
The Crandall Park Beautification Committee can be found at crandallpark.com for more information on donations and future projects.