Parks program will be back this summer at Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2021 at 9:24 am

Canal Concert series also returning for 4 events

File photos by Tom Rivers: Kiara Smith offers some pointers to Evan Kirby, then 7, in a game of badminton on June 26, 2019 at the start of Albion’s summer parks program.

ALBION – The summer parks program will be back at Albion this year in a reduced schedule.

The program, which normally runs five or six weeks, will be for four weeks, on weekdays from July 5 to July 30.

The Village Board approved the program on Wednesday, following a push from the Village’s Recreation Committee. John Grillo will continue to serve as the program’s director. He said there will likely be seven parks supervisors working from Bullard. There could be more depending on how many children sign up for the program which is free to children in the Albion school district. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The parks program is back at Bullard after being cancelled in 2020 and being based at Veteran’s Park at the corner of Linwood Avenue and Brown Street in 2019. Bullard was off limits that year due to construction.

This year the new splash pad will be open for kids. That spray park area is expected to open in June for the first time.

Grillo said he will be meeting with the Orleans County Health Department to go over Covid-19 guidelines for running the program.

He thanked the Village Board for giving the green light to having the parks program for the four weeks.

Mayor Eileen Banker said she favors a scaled-down parks program because Covid is still spreading in the community.

“I just want to be sure the kids are safe,” she said. “I still get almost daily messages from the school that a kid is testing positive.”

Banker also said the village is looking to add security cameras at the park after recent vandalism, which included a broken bench and spray-painted obscenities on the former bathroom building, which is now used for storage.

“If we catch the people we will hold them responsible,” she said.

Doug Egling of Albion performs a solo on his saxophone with the Trellis Cooper Band, which was featured on June 27, 2019. Last year’s concert series was cancelled due to Covid.

The Village Board also announced the Canal Concert series will be back this summer. It will be for four Thursday evenings near the Platt Street gazebo area by the Albion fire hall. The tentative schedule includes the last two Thursdays in July and the first two Thursdays in August or July 22, July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

Village Clerk Linda Babcock coordinates the concerts. She will work with the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council for the events.

Ron Albertson, a member of the Rock of the Park Committee, urged the village to shift the concerts to Bullard in the future, where there is a new amphitheater.

Banker said a grant that funds the concerts requires the village to hold them by the canal.

The village will go by the governor’s guidelines for outdoor events when the concerts are held. She said there is plenty of room to space people out for the concerts by the canal.