Cindy Dodds, Executive Director of the Tri County Community Network (TCCN), gave a fascinating talk on the history and current status of Bailey Park at the May 12 meeting of the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River at Gepetto’s Pizza.
Bailey Park is a true community park. The idea for its creation was initiated by parents and children in the Burney community. Organization began in 2002. The park was designed by community members, supported by volunteer labor, and funded by $300,000 in community grants and contributions.
Ms. Dobbs told interesting stories of the planning and development of the park. She brought a PowerPoint presentation with slides which she showed on her laptop. The following contains pictures of some of the slides in the presentation.
The park opened to the public in 2003. One of its features is a 5000 sq. foot slab of concrete with a fun box for skateboarders.
There is a grassy area of the park used for a variety of family activities in nice weather.
One of the past activities has been music and movement in the park.
There has also been opportunity for parents and children to experience Art in the Park.
The park also contains a school-age fitness program with 9 stations designed by parents. The stations are all connected by trails. Because it is conveniently located near Burney Elementary School, the program is regularly used by BES teachers and students.
One of the most popular features of Bailey Park is the Toddler Park that was designed by parents of young children. Many families hold birthday parties for their kids at the park.
Also, lots of dads have enjoyed playing with their kids at the park.
Annual maintenance for the park costs just under $3000. Each year TCCN has conducted a drive to raise the necessary money.
During discussion following the presentation, questions were raised concerning the future sustainability of the park. One idea mentioned was the creation of a Parks and Recreation District that would oversee all of the parks in Burney including Bailey, Washburn, and Lions Park. The Burney Water District actually has the authority to activate such a district.
Another idea was the creation of a combined Community Services District to coordinate the activities of the various district service boards. This could possibly result in increased funding and more efficient use of equipment and other resources.
We will see what the future holds.
In the meantime, thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped to create and maintain a safe, secure, and inviting park for Burney families.