Election Nomination Information
& General Merchandise News
Medicine for Summer Fun
More than the
Sum of Its Parts
& Fish: What You Need to Know
Profile: Cedar Grove Cheese
the Midwife: Chocolate and Pregnancy
& Drink Recommendations
Street Park: The Stage is Set for Summer Fun
The Stage is Set for Summer Fun
The stage is ready. One of those great volunteer things. The Stage in
the Willy Street Park was begun years ago as part of the Park organizers’
mission to provide a venue for the arts. A special purpose in the bylaws
of the community corporation is clear: “to encourage the presence
and demonstration of artists, musicians, poets, prophets, orators and
such other public or private events as are suitable for a neighborhood
Volunteers do brilliant work, but unpaid civic projects do get delayed
and sidetracked as life intervenes or other work becomes urgent. Therefore,
the stage stood half-finished. Exemplary, but not much used. Recently
a new volunteer, a dry stone craftsman, took an interest and decided to
finish the project. Gyro Gantenbein found grant assistance from the Willy
Street Co-op’s community reinvestment funds and went to work in
With occasional helpers, he pulled up the old paving, enlarged the design,
and started hauling in sand and rock. With occasional helpers and other
donations, the construction project took new life. It only took two years—life
intervenes—but he finished the paving last fall, and the community
has a completed performance space, long planned and wished for.
Solstice Celebration Planned
Another volunteer, Diane Michalski Turner, is organizing a Solstice Celebration
to mark the event, at 7 PM Monday, June 21st in the Park at Williamson
and Brearly. There’ll be music—Turner Collins will bring Celtic
traditions—and ceremonies to celebrate with neighbors. Soft drinks
will be served.
An Ice Cream Social
And there’s serious talk about an Ice Cream Social on Sunday, August
8th. Judi Wiesner, who has volunteered for many years, has talked about
parasols and ice cream suits at every meeting, and can see how much fun
it will be. More music, and ice cream for everybody. Everyone come and
bring the kids!
The Beginning of the Park
Willy Street Park was begun by activists in 1978, in outraged reaction
against an ugly little chain pizza outlet dumped off a semi truck on that
lot. The pizza people were driven out, and the owner of the land was persuaded
to sell it to the community. It is held by a non-profit community corporation.
The lot was mostly bare gravel. The neighbors, led by Dick Smith, began
to turn it into a gardened park. They brought in soil and planted flowers
and trees. The curved bench, in front of the stage, was built with community
arts grants. The Park design provides an oasis of shade, open area, paths,
a place to picnic. And gardens. The perennial garden blooms all summer,
and the trees and shrubs make graceful green space under open sky, right
on busy Williamson Street.
When you see a show of annuals in the Park, or a trim new arrangement
of plants, someone has been gardening. Often a person or group will take
over a patch for a season, and make a difference that the whole neighborhood
enjoys. Gardeners know that it’s fun to be out, and the nicest way
to meet the neighbors. The Park is a great place for visiting.
Donations and Volunteering
Everything in the park is done by volunteers, and with neighborhood donations.
Willy Street Co-op has helped out a lot. When a volunteer built a garden
shed a few years ago, the Co-op filled it with garden tools. Now the park
is equipped, and anybody who wants to garden there can do so without having
to haul stuff.
New volunteers are always welcome to garden, or do a project, or organize
or donate, or pull weeds and help clean up and keep the community park
open for everybody. For more information call me at 242-0712.