Lions Club wants to rebuild Bullard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Cole London, 10, of Albion tries to toss a bean bag through a target as part of a Children’s Carnival last July 12 at Bullard Park.

ALBION – The village of Albion has twice sought state funding to upgrade Bullard Park, but has been denied.

The Lions Club wants to see some improvements move forward, so the local service club wants to work with the village to raise funds for projects at the park along Route 31. The Lions is planning a 7 p.m. public meeting on March 11 at the Hoag Library to talk about possible projects for the park.

The village’s Recreation Committee identified about $600,000 in projects, with a walking trail, reseeded ball fields, new playground equipment, a concession stand with new bathrooms, a spray park and other amenities.

That is probably too much for the community to tackle at once. Dale Brooks, the DPW superintendent, would like to see new playground equipment at Bullard for the first project. Brooks is a member of the Lions Club.

“That equipment is older than me,” he told the Lions Club members at its meeting tonight. “It’s getting to the point where it’s difficult to keep safe.”

Brooks would like to see the community aim for a $50,000 fund-raising goal initially and work on tackling the park upgrades in stages. The Lions Club will reach out to other service organizations and community members for help in funding the improvements. Any checks would go to the Village of Albion in the “Rebuild Bullard Park” fund.

Brooks said the park has a lot of needs. He would like to see the bathrooms moved to Pee Wee Park, which is more centrally located in Bullard. The current bathrooms are on the west side of the park in a spot that isn’t very visible from the Route 31. Those bathrooms and nearby pavilions are prone to vandalism, Brooks said.

One of the ball fields also is set downward from the rest of the park and has problems with wetness. Brooks said that field would benefit from some fill.

The park is popular for many youth and adult sports leagues, a summer recreation program and many other community events, including dog shows on Labor Day weekend.

The village added new playground equipment to Pee Wee about two years ago. It will install a new swing set this spring in memory of Kathy LaLonde, who was 54 when she died on Oct. 6 after fighting cancer. LaLonde was a member of the Recreation Committee and helped to develop the master plan for the park.