I have been a resident of Longmeadow for more than two decades. I am a Senior citizen .
In years past, I voted in favor of the new High School. I voted in favor of the new Blinn tennis courts. I voted in favor of the expansion of Longmeadow Shops. I voted against a new DPW on Wolf Swamp Rd. fields. Frankly I am stunned by the opposition to a new Community Recreational and Senior Center at Bliss Park.
The current Greenwood Park Senior Center is also located in a park. Actually Greenwood is the smallest park in town, containing only 9 acres of land. To expand at that location would mean encroaching on the ball fields which are used daily in the summertime. Baseball has been played on those fields since 1945. Greenwood Park has tennis courts, an in ground pool, a small playground , two ball fields . An outdoor walking track and bocci court would likely be eliminated by expansion of the building . The recreational space is very small, and services the recreational needs of the residents in the south end of town. Although it has the same amenities as Bliss Park at 45 acres of land, Greenwood is the smallest park in town. The Greenwood Child Care center is located in the larger portion of the old school and the Park is home to day campers during the summer.
Where is the cry to save Greenwood Park?
Locating the new Senior Center would place the facility in the center of town at Bliss Park which would be more accessible for all our senior citizens. The location chosen is run down and neglected. It would add parking for the dog walkers and hikers that use the trails, for the ball fields and for the basketball court. It takes away absolutely nothing from the park and only enhances the current recreational activities.
I suspect the vast majority of people who are against this, are people who have never set foot at Greenwood Park Senior Center. Actually they may never have set foot in a Senior Center at all! All senior centers offer wonderful recreational activities for the senior and adult populations they service.
This new senior center would provide recreational activities for ALL of our population, and not just seniors. A new exercise room would be available to everyone! The town is hoping to include a gymnasium, which is much needed by the basketball teams. Pickle ball, volleyball would also be played there. Perhaps the town could even offer Community Theatre!
This would really be a community center that does nothing but improve the quality of life for young and old alike!
Frances Miffitt/ Longmeadow Resident