Amherst Community Fair: jinx no more
In Amherst it used to be the quickest way to guarantee a monsoon was to have the Community Fair return for its annual run. But this year, thankfully, broke that pattern.
A few jinxes remain however.
Groff Park Wading Pool 11:30 AM. Lifeguard is as lonely as the Maytag repairman
This is the first weekend all the outdoor pools in Amherst open for the summer season, and obviously with today's weather they will not see much use. The only person present this morning at Groff Park Wading Pool was the lifeguard.
War Memorial "big pool" 11:45 AM
And no lifeguard is needed at the War Memorial Wading Pool since it was ripped out last winter by the DPW.
Former site of War Memorial Wading Pool now turned mosquito hatching area
Of course with the amount of water that had already accumulated this morning, maybe the town should station someone nearby to prevent accidental drownings in the large puddle left behind.
Town Manager John Musante announced an "Amherst Center Working Group" last December to study the centrally located Memorial Field area, also known as Ziomek Field, as well as the adjoining playing fields owned by the Amherst Regional School System, but they have yet to meet.
I submit for their perusal, whenever they do get around to meeting, Exhibit A and Exhibit B: The Mill River Recreation in deep North Amherst vs the more centrally located War Memorial Recreation area, with the DPW tree division as an adjoining neighbor.
War Memorial Recreation area/DPW Tree Division
At both sites the playing fields are usable but Mill River will improve dramatically after a $127,351 renovation this year. The children's playground areas, however, are different as night and day.
War Memorial playground equipment is seriously outdated
War Memorial has a seriously cracked basketball court where they could have filmed the movie "San Andreas," and the playground equipment is almost non existent.
Mill River Recreation area: a tad more functional
Five years ago then Town Manager Larry Shaffer first floated (pun intended) the idea of a splash park similar to Northampton's Look Park at War Memorial.
Mill River playground equipment is a tad more modern
Since then the town spent $200,000 (mostly reimbursed by a state PARC grant) to rehabilitate the War Memorial Pool, but has done nothing to the surrounding play area. And it's not only become an embarrassing eyesore, but it's now a potential health hazard as well.
Groff Park Wading Pool is beyond its rated lifespan
Spray parks are (relatively) cheap to build, cheap to maintain, super safe, and a heck of a lot of fun. The town should start planning for two of them -- one at Groff Park and the other at War Memorial. Soon!