Monday, April 22, 2013

Residents Celebrate Earth Day at Troy's September 11th Memorial Park

On Saturday, April 20th, some 25 Lansingburgh residents descended on Memorial Park to participate in the Annual Troy Earth Day celebration. Residents performed numerous clean-up and beautification projects for approximately three hours.

Volunteers tidy up Memorial Park

 When the park was originally conceived in 2008, it was meant to clean up a riverside parcel of land that became wasteland after several trailers were removed. Lenny Kluz, Darlene Simpson, Chris Lambertsen, and I applied for CDBG funds through the city over a period of two years to begin the development process. The grant money that was awarded went to the installation of the majority of the infrastructure of the park. We aimed to create a space where people would gather and relax, enjoying the river views and the wildlife that inhabits the area.

In 2010, we choose the park as the location of the Troy September 11th Memorial. The 112th Street Bridge is one of the busiest entryways into the city, the park with the memorial allows visitors and residents the opportunity to visually see the memorial and park, in addition to, a place to site and reflect.

There were many objectives we aimed to achieve with the park and memorial and this past Saturday, as volunteers continued the beautification of the riverside parcel of land, we witnessed dozens of families and visitors to Troy enjoying the riverside views and the 9/11 Memorial. This past Saturday a high school regatta race was held in the Hudson River. People from all over the Capital District came to cheer on their son, daughter, or grandchild, and as they did, they did so from the banks of Memorial Park.

Our Volunteers
As the volunteers worked and people came and went, many visitors complemented us on the progress. Progress many of the visitors witnessed over the several year period. They have come to the same location year after year as their child progressed in school years and each year the park grew. It grew from a vacant muddy and dusty lot to a well manicured site that features a memorial to one of America's most memorable events and a site where a steel artifact from the World Trade Center is prodominitly featured.

A lot of long stressful days and nights, sweat, and dedication went into developing the site, but what made it happen was a love for our community and for country. Often those who are involved in community betterment groups and programs seek some assurance that what they do and have done makes a positive difference in the neighborhoods where they live. On Saturday, April 20th, as dozens of visitors from other towns and cities sat on the banks of Memorial Park overlooking the Hudson River, we realized the objectives we set out to achieve have made that positive difference.

It can be done, and I encourage and challenge people all the time to get involved and make a difference. It’s us; those that "do" that strengthen the fabric of our communities and build better cities!

Click Here to view a PDF slide show that includes some photos and articles of the development of the Troy 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Park.

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