“It was like an old-fashioned barn-raising,” reported Julia Sperry Longacre to the Mamaroneck Village Trustees at their meeting Monday, May 14, 2007. For four days, Thursday through Sunday the first weekend in May, from all over the Sound Shore area and beyond came 200 volunteers from all walks of life to raise the Playground in the Park.

Julia Sperry Longacre, Secretary and Treasurer of the Harbor Island Conservancy (HIC) continued: “If you were working on the steamship, you could have been putting up railings with a famous author, drilling with two high school science teachers, hammering with several merchants on the Avenue. If you were on site preparation, you could have been picking up rocks with a thoracic surgeon, mulching with a ministers and the mayor, raking with members of the Board of Trustees.” “This was the Mamaroneck Community at its best,” commented John Farris, Vice President of HIC.

In all, over 2,000 work hours were provided by volunteers, including Village officials and employees, professional builders, Habitat for Humanity volunteers, Boy Scouts, and high school students. Delicious food was donated and served to the workers by local businesses that included Café Mozart, Pizza Gourmet, Sage Deli, Steve Robinson Catering, and One Stop Beverage Center. Dozens of work gloves were placed on site by Roberts on the Avenue.

The raising of the Playground structures culminates two years of planning, consultation, and fund-raising by the Harbor Island Conservancy, a community based organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing Harbor Island – the Sound-side gem of the Village of Mamaroneck. The successful completion of this project confirms the efficacy of private and public cooperation in serving the community. Mayor Trifiletti further observed: “The playground is the first part of the Master Plan for Harbor Island to be built through the generosity of the Harbor Island Conservancy and the many people of the Village who have contributed their time and talents.

The Playground, which provides a three-level steamship, a tugboat with sandbox, a lighthouse, an intricate geode, a bridge, climbing walls, slides galore, swings, bouncing toys, spinning discs, and a modernistic seesaw will invite children from toddlers to pre-teens to climb, jump, twirl, slide, swing, bounce, balance, and make-believe. For their adult companions, a central gazebo and benches along the perimeter will permit a view of all the activities. Tony Iacovelli, the head of the Village’s Department of Public Works, who volunteered two personal days, from his vantage point atop the cherry picker from which he installed the lighthouse roof and reflecting panels, surveyed the scene below. “Beautiful,” he said. “It’s just beautiful!”

The dedication and official opening of the playground is scheduled for June 3, at 2:00 p.m., on the site, as part of the Mamaroneck Village’s Historic Street Fair.

To see some pictures of the playground, click here.

If you would like to engrave a name and/or a message on a paver (three short lines of no more than 12 characters per line) then please send a check for $50.00 made out to the The Harbor Island Conservancy along with the name or message to The Harbor Island Conservancy, 180 E. Prospect Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543. You can download the form to send in to have your inscription engraved on one of these pavers HERE
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