by Disan Davis –
In addition to news that the public swimming pool at Dobbs Ferry’s Gould Park will re-open this summer, local families were pleased to learn last month that a matching grant awarded through Westchester County will, when added to funds set aside by the village, help pay for all-new playground features, including equipment for swinging, sliding and climbing, as well as creative play structures for smaller children. Moreover, if villagers can raise another $50,000 by March 1, the Community Development Block Grant recently secured could match that with an additional $100,000—enough to ensure that the new playground will be ready by summer.
Located in one of the most economically diverse areas of Dobbs Ferry, Gould Park Playground has long been an important gathering place for the whole town. Families gather for football, baseball and basketball games. Kids swim, sled, and slide there. And the Recreation Department makes the pool and playgrounds the centerpiece of its annual summer camp.
The Gould Park playground, last updated in the late 1980s, was razed last spring. The Dobbs Ferry Recreation Department aims to begin implementing the first stage of a new master plan so that the equipment is in place in time for camp in July. Government funds will help pay for playhouses for ages 2-5 and a new play structure for ages 5-12, as well as new swings. Paving, ground coverings, basic landscaping and other necessities will also effect improvement costs.
The proposed Gould Park master plan, drawn up by the Recreation Department and the Gould Park Playground Committee, incorporates natural play elements, new landscaping and additional equipment aimed at creating an inclusive environment accessible to all. These elements could be added in as part of a second stage. The more funds raised through community contributions, other improvements such as a wheel-chair accessible merry-go-round, a miniature stage, or additional trees are more likely.
Besides donations, the Gould Park Playground Committee is also looking for volunteers to help with fundraising or community installation. To make a tax-deductible donation, or to find out more information, residents can visit gouldpark.com, or follow @gouldparkplayground on Facebook or @gouldpark on Instagram.