HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Village of Hudson Falls unveiled plans for a major transformation and revitalization of Derby Park in 2019. The location is iconic to the region, a place where generations of children and families had gathered for recreational and social activities.
The community responded. The money was raised for the renovations, which began in 2021. And two brothers’ dream has come true.
On Saturday, June 18, starting at 11 a.m., the Village will host a ribbon-cutting for the newly renamed Moran-Derby Park, a $1.8-million community athletic complex and festival space between Coleman Avenue and William Street.
The park was made possible by the generosity of people and organizations from across the region- most notably, a $500,000 lead gift from longtime local sporting goods retailers Brien and Mike Moran in memory and honor of their late parents, Henry G. and Gladys Moran. Other major financial support included a $600,000 grant from the Office of Park, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and generous donations from the Sandy Hill Foundation, Wheelabrator Technologies, and Boralex.
“What a great time for the Village of Hudson Falls and the Town of Kingsbury,” said Village Mayor John Barton. “This park was such an important part of growing up in Hudson Falls for so many years, and now it’s back and better than ever for the enjoyment of people of all ages across our entire region. Combined with our growing downtown arts district, we’re putting Hudson Falls back on the map.”
“There’s a real passion for this park that’s shared by me and my brother and so many others around the region,” said Mike Moran. “It hurt to drive by and see empty fields and not hear the laughter and sounds of the games. But that’s all going to change now, and we’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to help. Our parents would be so happy, too. They felt very strongly about how important athletics and physical activity are to growing healthy bodies and minds and communities, and Moran-Derby Park will do all of those things.”
The Moran-Derby Park ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. next to the basketball court, and the public is invited to attend. Scheduled to speak are New York State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, Mayor Barton, benefactor Mike Moran, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of The Derby Park Revitalization Committee Mike Horrigan, and Hudson Falls Central School District Superintendent Dan Ward.
After the ceremony, a full afternoon of activities is scheduled, including:
- Musical performances by Dan Mellon from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Jonathan Newell from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Demonstrations by the Washington County Sheriff’s K9 Unit
- A children’s book giveaway by the Ben Osborn Memorial Fund, created in honor of CPL Osborn, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 15, 2010, during Operation Enduring Freedom
- Face painting by SiMyles Unlimited of Hudson Falls and students from the Hudson Falls High School advanced art class
- Refreshments, with all proceeds benefiting The Senior Center of Kingsbury and Fort Edward
- A girls’ 10U softball game at noon
Moran-Derby Park features a new basketball court, regulation-size soccer field, softball field, three pickleball courts, a quarter-mile walking path, two new event spaces for community festivals, new lighting and fencing, and a new parking lot. A brick walkway with engraved bricks purchased by community members has also been finished.
Fundraising and planning for the new park was the work of the Derby Park Revitalization Committee. The group was made up of Dan Van Wie, Joe Melucci, Em Lewis, Mike Moran, Tom Van Arnem, Erin McLaughlin, Bob Cook, Kingsbury Town Supervisor Dana Hogan, Mayor Barton, Village Trustee Mike Horrigan, and village Attorney Bill Nikas. The park was designed by LaBella Associates.