Ed Stackwick provided vision to turn Bullard Park into recreational hub
In the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, there were four parks in Albion: St. Joseph’s, Bullard, Lafayette and Linwood that had recreation programs during the summer months, the latter two had wading pools for the younger kids.
These provided more than just a place to drop off your kids on any day, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games, contests and the camaraderie of all kinds were the primary object to help these kids during the summer.
But Bullard Park was a special piece of property. It had open land and endless vision for many activities. Archery, golf lessons by Rochester’s Babe Urzetta, baseball games and many more attempts to bring kids and people together as a community.
Our dad, Ed Stackwick, acquired a grant from New York State to beautify the tapestry of Bullard Park. From East Avenue you couldn’t see into Bullard Park. It was overrun with fallen trees, unkept brush and the like.
The view of Bullard Park should be open and inviting to all. Alec Sherman was hired to supervise these activities that needed hard work filtering the banks of the gorge running through Bullard Park but also on the hillsides heading toward the train tracks. Two new pavilions were built so everyone could have a picnic, an outing for groups or just to sit and watch nature.
Ed Stackwick fostered an event for senior citizens to enjoy a chicken barbeque every summer, free of charge with transportation provided. He built a basketball court just opposite the rest rooms and the water fountains. Groups of kids played there almost all year round.
How were these resources obtained, the park upgraded for all to use and the vision even considered? It was the passion inside of one man who tried to give everyone, young and old, a better way of life. He wanted the kids to stay off the streets and give them hope that if you work hard you can make something of yourself.
He wanted the parents to see that their kids could learn respect and honesty from a community based venture. He wanted the adults to use the park in many ways to enjoy Albion’s quality of life.
So the article about the basketball court a few weeks back about Roosevelt Bouie and how kids from all towns went to Bullard Park to play against each other, calling it the “Basketball Mecca” of this area reminded us of our dad, Ed Stackwick.
That was exactly what he envisioned when he beautified and upgraded Bullard Park for all to use, including the “Basketball Mecca” basketball court.
Dan Stackwick, Dianne Eddy and Dave Stackwick