What is the future for Belmont’s parks, pools, tennis courts, open space, etc.?
Belmont Partners in Play is a new “friends” organization created to promote the health and well being of all Belmont residents by supporting safe and desirable parks and recreation facilities. In the new fiscal reality of the 21st century, cities and towns need to partner with private organizations and individuals who can help steward valuable town resources. In Belmont, we have friends organizations for our library, schools, senior center, athletic teams and arts programs; our parks and recreational facilities deserve a comparable support organization – hence, Belmont Partners in Play.
Many of Belmont’s parks and recreational facilities are threatened due to age, evolving safety standards, and budget constraints. In recent years, we have seen a number of indicators that these important gathering places do not receive the awareness, advocacy and funding they deserve:
- In May 2010, the proposed budget brought to Town Meeting included the demolition of the Grove Street tennis courts, which was narrowly averted by a few alert Town Meeting Members.
- In November 2011, three Belmont elementary school playgrounds failed safety inspections, leading to the sudden closure and temporary reopening of Joey’s Park (at Winn Brook) and the immediate demolition of the Butler Elementary School playground.
- In June 2012, the Underwood Pool will celebrate its 100th anniversary as the country’s first public swimming pool, but with age comes major vulnerability to breaks that cannot be repaired.
We aim to raise the profile of recreation facilities in Belmont and create a private fundraising arm to assist in maintaining and enhancing these vital resources. By bringing together residents who enjoy and need our parks and recreation facilities, Belmont Partners in Play will provide an important and missing voice, volunteer base, and funding mechanism for these resources. Together, we can plan for our future and preserve the special places that make Belmont the town we love.
To learn more, participate or volunteer in any Belmont Partners in Play programs, email email@example.com.
Coralie DiTommaso, Jane Fox, Crate Herbert and Ellen Schreiber
Belmont Partners in Play Co-Founders