Please obey park signs

Recently two things happened at Garfield Park. One was good and one was not so good.

First, Ashland Parks and Recreation staff completed several planned improvements to this park, including a beautiful new and improved water splash pad, upgrades to the sand volleyball courts, new basketball surface and backboards and additional shade and picnic structures. APRC’s goal was to have these facilities completed for the official opening of the summer season, Memorial Day weekend. With some extraordinary staff effort this task was completed.

Not every part of the project came in on schedule, and many parts of the landscaping will take several more weeks to establish themselves. About a month ago, APRC staff had two choices: keep the park closed well into summer to allow completion of all components of the project or open the park and allow the citizens of Ashland to use the new facilities while the rest of the project was being completed. They chose the latter option and the park has seen heavy use since reopening.

Now for the not-so-good item. Unfortunately a number of park users did not respect the signs and safety fencing designating areas of the park that were still under construction. The result was damage to landscaping and a “mud-pie” play day that was a bit over the top, in my estimation. Many hours of additional staff time and additional park funds are now being used to repair the damage that has been done.

My request of all parents, guardians, grandparents and group chaperones is to please respect APRC’s efforts to complete this park. Encourage your children to act responsibly and respect the fact that if there is a fence or sign restricting use of an area that it is there for a reason. Help us complete this park so that we can all enjoy the new facilities throughout this summer and for years to come. Thank you for your help.

Mike Gardiner

Chairman, Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission