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Sunday, October 13, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Breslau Memorial Park to get new picnic shelter in the latest community-led upgrade

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Faisal Ali is a Reporter/Photographer at The Observer.

By steady steps and degrees, the Breslau Memorial Park is getting upgraded and improved upon by local volunteers. Initially, that was the installation of the new tot playground at the park, and by this September the Breslau Recreation Association is hoping to have another item crossed of their list with the addition of a picnic shelter and seating area.

The picnic shelter is being put in through the rec. association, but with the wider support of the community, including the local firefighters and Breslau businesses.

With the new tot playground put in, Bill Smith, a volunteer with the association, explains that plan is to steadily add more features to the area around the playground as the funds are raised and volunteers become available.

“The long-term view of the committee is to develop that area,” he noted.

“The other playground for the older children, when that needs to be replaced, that’s going to be brought over to the same area as well. So we’re kind of developing that area, but one of the things is there’s no shade over there right now, there’s not really anywhere to sit. So we kind of identified that as a priority.”

Assisting in the shelter’s construction members of the Breslau fire station, who are donating their time and skill and, in the process, drastically reducing the cost of the project. Local businesses are chipping in as well, donating materials and skills to the job.

The end result will be similar to the shelters at Bolender Park in Elmira, says Smith, under which a few benches and tables can be added.

“Everybody is capable of doing something, whether that’s swinging a hammer or helping to carry stuff. There’s always a role for someone,” said Smith. “It’s really why a lot of us are doing this: we live in our community, and you get back what people put into it.”

The pad for the shelter began to be put in last week, he said, and will need to set before the rest of the shelter can be built.

“It needs roughly about a month to cure, but they’re expecting to finish the rest of the construction sometime September, just kind of lining up all the different moving pieces on it.”

The shelter and the tot playground were only the start of the improvements being planned for the Breslau park. The master plan approved for the park includes revitalized ball diamonds, new trails and the replacement for the older children’s playground.

“If everyone is able to find a way to give back to the community a little bit, it’s amazing what that end result can be if everybody pitches in,” said Smith. “Volunteers come and go and we really hope that more people will get involved and help us continue knocking these projects off one by one.”

The master plan was drawn up for the Breslau Memorial Park after a deal to sell off some of the parkland fell through due to public opposition. The proposed sale of section of the park was intended to pay for the improvements; residents of Breslau, however, rejected the sale, preferring instead to raise the money themselves and leave the park intact.

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