The proposed splash pad in the town of Lysander would measure 3,500 square feet and have about two dozen interchangeable spray features. Town Engineer Al Yager estimates the cost at $484,000. (facebook.com/lysanderPandRstaff)
To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the Lysander spray park proposal’s death are greatly exaggerated. While voters opted earlier this month not to uphold the Lysander Town Board’s resolution allowing the town to borrow as much as $400,000 for the project, Recreation Supervisor Tony Burkinshaw said the spray park committee has a plan to raise money.
Burkinshaw said he and the town are letting the committee take the lead on fundraising, and the committee has teamed up with the Greater Baldwinsville Community Benefit Fund to accept donations for the cause. According to the Lysander Park Spray Park Facebook page, the two entities will take steps toward creating a “Friends of Lysander Park” organization.
“It’s not just going to be geared towards the spray park. It’s about how we can make improvements to the whole park,” Burkinshaw said.
Until the Friends of Lysander Park can form their own 501(c)(3) organization, the Greater Baldwinsville Community Benefit Fund will accept donations for Lysander Park.
“That’s what they’re established for,” Burkinshaw said of the fund.
According to committee member Kim Lane’s Facebook page, the group also is looking for 15 to 20 people to join the Friends of Lysander Park. The next committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Lysander Town Hall. Lane said committee membership is not limited to Lysander residents and is open to those outside the town.
“It’s anybody that wants to see the project move forward,” Burkinshaw said. “It’s not a Lysander thing anymore. It’s all of Baldwinsville.”
While town officials and spray park committee members alike have expressed their disappointment with the referendum results, Burkinshaw seems to be taking it in stride.
“You think you’re game-day ready, but the other team has a better day,” he said.
As the Friends of Lysander Park group takes shape, fundraising has already kicked off. The committee is selling neon drawstring bags emblazoned with a “Lysander Spray Park” logo for $25, and the Friends of Lysander Park are hosting an event for National Ice Cream Day later this summer. The ice cream social takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Lysander Park. Ten percent of all sales will go to the Greater Baldwinsville Community Benefit Fund for the spray park.
For more information about fundraising or joining the Friends of Lysander committee, visit facebook.com/LysanderParkSprayPark.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.