Les Ryon, left, and Manlius Mayor Mark Paul-Serafin hold an original piece of clapboard from the house that used to stand at 301 Pleasant Road. The lot is now being turned into a park.
When the village of Manlius bought and tore down the abandoned house at 301 Pleasant Road last year, next-door neighbor Les Ryon told Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin they should turn it into a park.
One year later his idea is coming to fruition. The village plans on turning the now vacant lot into Founders Park this spring, Serafin said.
The village has applied for a Community Development Grant for funding and plans for the park could include adding benches and a pavilion, pathways, flower beds and possibly incorporating limestone steps and hand-hewn timbers that were saved from the house that used to be there, Serafin said.
The park, which is on the corner of Pleasant Road and Moulter Street, will be called Founder’s Park, in honor of the village bicentennial, which is in 2013, Serafin said.
Les Ryon first posed the idea to Serafin at a village bicentennial committee meeting in April of 2010. He and other neighbors supported the idea of a “pocket park,” or small neighborhood park, where they could sit outside or walk their dog, said Karen Ryon, his wife.
The Ryons later wrote a letter to the village showing support for the park and got signatures from many of their neighbors. The Manlius Assisted Living Program across the street also supported the park.
The new park has been a “collaborative effort” between Mayor Serafin and members of the community, Karen said.