SYRACUSE — Syracuse Park Board met Monday evening, March 12. The meeting was spent discussing solutions to the community center rental issues, the upcoming community tree planting day in Laudeman Park and the possibility of introducing a buddy bench to the community for children.
The next meeting will be April 8.
The community tree planting event has been set at 1 p.m. April 21, in Laudeman Park. Parks Superintendent Chad Jonsson has been reaching out to organizations who may be interested in participating. Holes will be dug, meaning those coming out will only have to level and bury the tree. The event is expected to last a little more than an hour and is a great opportunity for the public to be introduced to the new park space.
Jonsson brought up community center rentals to see if the board had any solution ideas since the issue was addressed during the last meeting. In discussing a variety of ways to solve the problem, the board agreed with Jonsson’s recommendation of just allowing local non-profit groups to use the gym with alcohol with a proposal to the park board and leave celebration hall alone as its capacity limit doesn’t create issues with big parties. Local will be defined as residing within the Wawasee Community School Corporation.
With other gathering places such as the Oakwood Resort Event Center and The Owl’s Nest, there isn’t much concern for large wedding parties. Paul Newcomer commented Jonsson’s proposal is the best compromise and it should be implemented for at least a year to see how it works. This wouldn’t impact parties wanting to rent the gym for a non-alcoholic event. Jonsson will create a document stating the changes for the board to approve and sign at the next meeting.
Mary Hursh discussed the idea of having a buddy bench implemented in Lakeside Park after seeing how well it was being used by children of Parkside Elementary School in Goshen. A buddy bench is a place a child can sit if they don’t have anyone to play with and encourages others to visit them, or have them look for interesting games or activities they wish to join. The board discussed the concept and, while agreeing it was good, are concerned on how to inform children of the intent.
While signage would be a good idea, not all children would be able to read or take the time to read it. At Parkside, the school had a program to raise the funds which made all the children aware of what it was for. The board will sit on it until the next meeting.
Ongoing programs continue with judo and pickleball along with the adult basketball league, with the final game being March 25. The final free movie night of the school year will show “The Lego Ninjago Movie” at 6:30 p.m. March 16.
A free flashlight egg hunt for middle schoolers grade five to eight will be at 9 p.m. March 23, at Lakeside Park.
Lakeside Park will have another egg hunt for grades 5 and under at 10:30 a.m. March 24. About 2,500 will be hidden and volunteers are needed for a few hours. A variety of activities will take place in the community center after the hunt, which will include a free lunch, games, a craft and clowns.
A geocache-style egg hunt will begin March 24 to April 2, where 10 eggs will be hidden around Syracuse. Passports with GPS coordinates will be handed out for each egg and those who turn in a completed passport will get a chance to win a prize.
A few spaces are available for the Princess Party from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. April 14, at $15 per child and $10 per adult.
Registration is open for a pitch, hit, run event at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex April 28. It’s free to kids ages 7 to 14 who want to test their baseball and softball skills. Winners will advance to a sectional competition.
The Artisans and Farmers Market begins May 12, but a vendor meeting for interested and returning vendors is set at 6 p.m. April 3, at the community center.
Registration for the Mudtastic Classic opens March 19, at $20 per adult and $10 per youth. The event will be June 23.