Syracuse Park Board Honors The Late Jamie Beer
By Phoebe Muthart
Syracuse Parks Department honored the late Jamie Beer at its meeting Monday night, May 8.
Beer was a park board member who died suddenly Wednesday, April 26. He served a three-year term as commissioner of the Wawasee Summer League and was a long-standing board member of the league. He was instrumental in opening the new baseball and softball fields, Schrock Fields in Syracuse.
“I’d like to send my condolences to Jamie’s family. He’s been a big volunteer to the Wawasee community,” said President Paul Newcomer, adding Beer will be greatly missed.
Park Superintendent Chad Jonsson gave an update on Schrock Fields. Opening day festivities were Saturday, April 29.
“It got done on time,” he said of the new athletic complex. “It was a nice day.”
The football field still needs to be completed, he said. That project will start in the next couple of weeks. New signs arrived after opening day and need to be installed. He said the large parking lot was nearly full.
A patio permit for the Tour des Lakes event was approved. The event is Saturday, July 15. Alcohol will be served but there will be a separate family area.
Jonsson gave the financial report from April 10 to May 8 and April’s financial report. A check was written for $6,577.73 for a brush for a lawn mower. A $750 check for medals for an upcoming event was also approved.
Jonsson gave the tree board report. An Arbor Day celebration took place Wednesday, May 3, at Syracuse Elementary School. Seventy third-graders visited four stations.
“We taught them about trees,” he said. “We also planted trees.”
The students were given 75 saplings, which were provided to the parks department by the Soil and Water Conservation District.
Nine spruce trees will be planted at the new ball field. Magnolia trees will be planted at Lakeside Park. Jonsson said his department is starting on removing trees, too.
Jonsson gave an update on Henry Ward Park’s pavilion and restroom project. He met with the contractor last week and the project will start in late June or early July. The old pavilion will be torn down.
A facilities improvement committee has been formed. It consists of three park board members.
Jonsson has applied for a grant for the Syracuse Community Center’s new roof. He is hoping to replace the roof this fall with a metal one. “We are waiting to hear about the grant,” he said.
Darin Lursen gave the program report. Lursen, the program director, said a recent Princess Party “went well.” He said attendance was lower this year and next year the event will be moved back to March.
Euchre has been well attended with 24 people attending the most recent event. The next one is Friday, May 19.
Touch-a-Truck is this weekend, weather permitting, and will be Saturday, May 13.
Opening day for the farmers market is Saturday, May 20. So far, 13 vendors have committed. The market will be open until Labor Day.
Mudtastic Classic is Saturday, June 17. So far, 40 people have signed up. Lursen said, “we usually have 250 to 300” attend the annual event.
Jonsson said he needs more certified lifeguards for Lakeside Park this summer. So far, only one lifeguard has applied. “I’d like to have three or four,” he said. If interested, contact him at (574) 457-3440.
The next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Syracuse Community Center.