Public meeting set in Chester to obtain ideas for boosting recreation in town

Photo by Thom Randall.

— Ideas for developing recreational facilities are now being sought from the public by local officials, and a meeting is set for Wednesday July 30 to air the proposals.

The meeting is to be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Town of Chester Municipal Center auditorium on Main St. in Chestertown.

All are invited to attend.

The municipal planning firm LA Group of Saratoga Springs will be moderating the session.

The employees of LA Group have noted that municipal recreational assets leverage tourism, thus having a substantial impact on the local economy.

At the July 30 meeting, the LA Group will be presenting plans for recreational trails and a playground at Dynamite Hill, in addition to many ideas already suggested.

Local residents are urged to identify their favorite places as well as think about what facilities may need improvements to enhance the local quality of life. Also, town officials and the planners are seeking ideas for new facilities that residents and visitors would enjoy.

Ideas discussed to date by a citizens’ advisory committee include developing a safe walking path from North Warren Central School to Dynamite Hill, constructing a playground and walking trail in the fields and woods west of the Chester Municipal Center, and building sidewalks from the Chestertown hamlet south on Rte. 9 to the Rite Aid Pharmacy Plaza and to Hudson Headwaters' Chester Health Center.

Another idea proposed is to obtain public access to the Panther Mountain trail, plus developing trailhead parking and signs there.

Some citizens have suggested upgrades to the D.C. Van Weelden Memorial Park including developing ballfields, a fitness trail and small playground, and establishing a trail from the park to the Chester Municipal Center.

Another concept raised is to acquire ownership or establish an easement on Sullivan Pond and its surrounding land for hunting, fishing, hiking, and canoeing opportunities. Acquiring such an easement would likely provide watershed protection for Friends Lake, according to the advisory group members. The recreational opportunities could tie in with the D.C. Van Weelden park, along with the snowmobile trails along National Grid right-of-way and other Town of Chester lands north of Sullivan Pond.

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