Chestertown Recreation Commission
6:00 pm, Monday, February 28, 2022
Meeting via Zoom (inadvertently not recorded)
This meeting had been postponed from February 14 due to a lack of quorum. Participating in this call were Commissioners Jim Bogden, Rosie Granillo, Frank Rhodes, and Nate Woodrow. Also on the call were Tim O’Brien, Charles Lerner, and Chip McLoed. The meeting was called to order at 6:10.
- Approval of minutes of January meeting:
The minutes had not been distributed and will be reviewed at the next meeting.
- Wilmer Park playground update:
Jim Bogden reported that the Town still hasn’t received an installation timeline from the vendor.
The fundraising campaign has gathered $16,150 to date. Oddly, few businesses have donated. It was suggested that an update be provided to the local press and Chamber of Commerce.
The idea of a fence around the playground has been surprisingly controversial—at its recent meeting the Town Council decided to table the issue until the playground has been installed.
- New “Friends of Wilmer & Ajax Parks” group.
Town officials are opposing a fence with landscaping because they do not have the resources to perform the required maintenance. As Town official Kees deMooy said to Mr. Bogden, “Speaking as a person from the Netherlands, there is nothing sadder than an untended garden.” Bogden suggested that if the playground is going to be landscaped, a private group of concerned citizens should be formed to keep it up. It shouldn’t be difficult to pull a group together.
The Mayor has requested that each park have its own group. Carla Johnson has been fundraising for a toddler playground at Ajax Park and so the two should be kept separate.
- Planning to plan for Bailey Park improvements:
In an unofficial survey of the Town’s department heads for priority uses of ARPA funds, improving Bailey Park was included with an estimated cost of $1 million. Various recreational uses were suggested by call participants, including a performing arts pavilion, a skateboard park, bocce, and disk golf.
Jim Bogden will check with Annie Richards on the status of ShoreRivers’ suggested stormwater project there.
Rosie Granillo suggests two potential consultants to help with a community needs assessment. Bogden will start the process with a Facebook post to gather ideas.
- Recommendations to the Town’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) task force:
The Town Council has formed a ten-member group to receive and assess ideas for how to spend some $4.3 million in ARPA funds. The call participants brainstormed a number of ideas to pass along to the task force:
A replacement playground at Carpenter Park (the Mayor has indicated the Town could seek another grant from the state’s Community Parks and Playgrounds Program for this)
• A bicycle path down Flatland Road
• Other bicycle paths included in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan
• A bicycle path to Minary’s Dream Alliance (must partner with Kent County)
• A sidewalk on Philosopher’s Terrace and other streets heavily used by walkers
• A bicycle path down Quaker Neck (must partner with Kent County)
• A small bridge to connect the Gilchrest Rail Trail to Gateway Park for safety reasons
• Infill for nuisance flooding at Wilmer Park
• Bathrooms at Wilmer and Bailey Parks
- Community meetings by Ward:
Jim Bogden will reach out to Ward 3 Council member José Medrano about setting up a meeting to hear from the community about their recreational needs.
- General discussion:
At the point in the meeting, the Zoom call was “bombed” by several rude interlopers and summarily ended by host Jim Bogden at approximately 6:55.
- Next regular meeting date is March 14, 2022