As we head into the holidays and wrap up the year, we reflect on how far the Friends of Needham Park have come in 2019.
Though development of our vision plan begin late last year, in 2019 we saw the community turn out and get engaged in the future of Needham Park! Along with Park Pride, we hosted four Public Meetings to gather feedback – in January, March, April, and June. We met neighbors, discussed what we each wanted to see in the park (as well as what we want to preserve!). This process led to development of a vision plan which will guide our future pursuits.
We also held three cleanup events this year – tackling invasives in the overgrown portion of the park’s land. Whether cold, warm, or slightly chilly, YOU showed us how much you care about the future of the park by showing up and spending your time improving conditions in our little park.
We have also benefited from our association with the Friends of Scottdale-Avondale Community. A portion of the proceeds from their Rhythm & Brews fundraiser were set aide for Needham Park. We are grateful to that organization and look forward to working with them in the future!
Clearly, things were going well for Needham Park. And then, we were blown away to learn that on December 10, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved an allocation of $345,000 for improvements to Needham Park!
We are extremely thankful to Commissioner Steve Bradshaw (District 4) for believing in Needham Park and working to allocate these funds. The community has come together to show how much we care, and the Commissioner has noticed!
So what’s in store for 2020? The Friends gathered one last time for the year on Saturday, December 14, to discuss:
- We will work with Park Pride to engage DeKalb County regarding the alignment of funds with our community’s Vision Plan.
- The County has our Vision Plan in hand!
- A major priority, and one for which we received significant within the community, is stream bank restoration. This is a major project which we hope to make headway on with the county’s support.
- We continue to work on an application for a Small Change Grant from Park Pride. We’ve begun this process in previous meetings and hope to submit it in early 2020.
- We are currently considering a bench, and possibly a picnic table and garbage receptacle.
- If we receive funds for installation, we’ll need support from the community to make it happen. Please let us know if you have interest in helping out!
- Our next cleanup event will be in the spring (details to come). We are working on a plan to organize these cleanups so that we can maximize the effectiveness of our community volunteers by focusing on specific areas within the park at each cleanup.
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season; and we look forward to working with friends and neighbors throughout 2020 (and beyond) to realize our community’s vision for Needham Park!