The Pawling Community Foundation (PCF) formed a Parks Committee early this year to formulate a strategic plan for the Town of Pawling’s parkland and recreational needs. The main action was to build consensus to recommend future capital improvements and explore programming opportunities for Lakeside Park, Edward R. Murrow Park and Holmes Whaley Lake Civic Center/Holmes Pond Park. Following comprehensive research of local and regional parks services and practices, the Parks Committee published a report that was posted on the PCF website and public comments were received. In addition, the PCF sought community input by posting an online survey and hosting a series of public meetings. At the final public meeting on October 26, 2015, the Park Committee presented to 61 community residents the capital improvement and recreational program priorities culled from the survey and meetings. Key recommendations include:
• Evaluate the buildings at Lakeside Park for reuse. The Inn was identified as the building with the most interest or first priority. Upgrades to the Locker Rooms/Bathrooms were also requested.
• Expand usage of the Great Lawn to include sports and community activities.
• Develop the Barns into an Arts Center.
• Remove the Donaldson Center.
• Create a walking trail from Lakeside Park to Murrow Park.
Edward R. Murrow Park
• Develop an outdoor/indoor Nature Center with displays, activities, community garden plots and educational programs.
• Improve the picnic, fishing and playground areas.
• Install a fenced-in Dog Park.
Holmes Whaley Lake Civic Center and Holmes Pond Park
• Expand the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail from Hopewell Junction through the Whaley Lake area to the Putman County Line.
The PCF would like to thank the residents who participated in the survey and attended the public meetings. It is clear that our residents care about our Town’s parks and value them as important to our community’s quality of life. The PCF will present all recommendations to the Town Board at their next meeting taking place December 2, 2015 at 7pm. The meetings are open to all residents and we encourage you to attend.