Community Members Help Improve Southside Parks Community Members Help Improve Southside Parks

SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) — Tonight Syracuse community members met with officials from the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Programs to share ideas for improving Southside parks.

Community members of any age were welcomed to the Dunbar Center to speak with officials, write down suggestions, and draw where they wanted specific fixtures on maps. Children were able to discuss what playground equipment they wanted to see at their favorite parks. Adults discussed the want for more exercise equipment and picnic tables.

“It’s kind of a newer approach we are taking,” said Architect One for the City of Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department Brian Messe. “Anytime there’s a change in any park, whether small or large, it may affect some of the park users so we try to get folks opinions on any changes within our parks.”

These types of community engagement meetings led to changes at Norwood Park Playground in Eastwood. The park reopened over the summer with new equipment, all of which was decided by the community. One thing that children who use the park wanted was to be closer to the trees above them. Because of this, a rope climbing fixture was installed.

In order to make getting projects like this done easier, Syracuse was divided into quadrants: North, South, East, and West. The Department of Parks, Recreation, and youth Programs will be working their way through meeting with the park-goes of each quadrant. This help with dividing up the work of the entire cycle from suggestions to construction.

“We started in Eastwood and moved through Northside so Southside came next in the order,” said Messe. “Soon we’ll proceed with the Eastside and Westside as well.”

Two more meetings also related to Southside parks will happen in November. They will follow a similar format but be in different locations. The upcoming sessions will be on different days of the week and times from tonight’s event to give more people the opportunity to attend.

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