October 03, 2018Despite some weather ups and downs, the Parks and Recreation Department had a successful summer season that saw high numbers at the beach and at programs as well as a big volunteer project to replace dugouts.
On Wednesday, Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene gave a semi-annual update to the board of selectmen on the goings on in his department.
This year, Parks and Rec with a lot of volunteer support replaced two dugouts at Stonewall Park baseball field.
"One of those dugouts was completely destroyed last October and the other one was damaged in the storm right around Halloween," Greene said.
The project used money from the insurance company to rebuild the dugouts and a number of Little League volunteers put in a lot of work. In the end both dugouts were replaced and Greene said done so at a higher standard than the previous ones.
Greene said they are aiming to do an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the project one some details are finalized.
"I would like to stress a big thank you to the league for taking charge and doing a great job down there," Greene said.
The town beach opened for the summer on June 16.
Before the beach opened, Greene said Buildings and Grounds helped repair some of the lifeguard towers and staff repainted the bathroom and the picnic tables. Floor and decking work was also done at the village bandstand along with repainting.
Overall, Greene said the summer at the beach was "up and down." The season started hot and humid, though there were a couple weeks of wet weather before more warm weather. He said there were two days where the beach had to be closed to sever weather, however there were no closures due to bacteria levels.
The beach stayed open and staffed through Aug. 26. Greene said more than 11,300 vehicles were recorded going through the gate while it was staffed.
He said the lifeguards did a good job over the summer protecting beach users and teaching swimming lessons.
There were three water rescues, one incident involving two people at the same time along with one swimming assist.
Lifeguards assisted the operators of a motorboat after it drifted toward the swimming area with a ski rope caught in the propeller. They also helped the operator of a kayak that took on too much water and drifted around the swim lines, helping the kayaker and dumping the water from the craft.
Lifeguards also provided first aid to 14 people, mostly for cuts on the feet.
Some of their summer athletic programs saw huge boosts in numbers.
There was a large increase in participants in Granite State Track and Field. For the first two years of the program around seven to eight kids took part, this year saw 22 with 10 qualifying to compete in the state championship.
There were also solid numbers on the Shooters Gold and Challenger Soccer camps.They offered youth tennis free through Advantage Kids, a statewide organization that promotes tennis in the state. Greene said youth tennis filled right up.
The summer season rounded out with Old Home Day on Aug. 26. Greene said there was a good crowd for the early part of the day though numbers thinned out in the afternoon likely due to the heat. Crowds were back for the evening events like the Community band concert and the fireworks.
The Old Home Day Committee is already planning next year's 100th Old Home Day.
More activities are scheduled through the fall, including Junior Picasso at the Gilford Youth Center, Adult Pickup Basketball, and the Halloween Party at the end of October.
"Overall, we're running busy and looking forward to the fall season," Greene said.