Main Street News

SPARC Park in Stanfordville Has Official Grand Opening

By Published On: June 27th, 2024

SPARC Park in Stanfordville, NY, held their formal grand opening on Wednesday, June 26. 

The town of Stanfordville just completed an all-volunteer rebuild of the iconic playground at the recreation center. The original SPARC Park was built over 30 years ago as a community-led and built project, and a group of community members organized the rebuild with the same community-led process.

Community-led efforts such as this one are few and far between. In 1991 when the playground was originally built, approximately 1,500 community builds took place each year. Today, that number is roughly 15 per year. 

The 14,000 square-foot playground was designed with ideas by the children in the community and features upgraded safety surfacing, unique touches that pay homage to the history and small businesses of the community, and inclusive elements that make the park accessible to all. 

Julia Descoteaux, the general coordinator for the SPARC Park initiative reports that the most impressive part about the park is that it was built and funded by over 300 community volunteers over an eight day period. 

“The community raised over $500,000 to fund the materials and equipment costs. They also utilized, loaned, and donated tools, as well as materials to complete the park from a number of local businesses,” she said. 

The total value of the donated goods and services was upwards of $1.5 million, with no taxpayer funding. Stanfordville also received donations from national and local businesses to help with the build, including The Home Depot Foundation, Stewart’s Shops, Hannaford, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and many more. 

SPARC Park also draws children and families from other neighboring towns, including Pine Plains, Millbrook, Milan, Clinton Corners, and Salt Point. A survey conducted in the spring of 2023, prior to the rebuild, found that many visitors of the park travel between five and 15 minutes to visit, which creates a travel radius that encompasses between 30,000-40,000 Northern Dutchess residents. 

“The support and encouragement that we’ve received from our community has been nothing short of remarkable,” Julia said. “Our entire community has stepped up to help whether through a donation, making signs for our volunteers, or turning wrenches to build this playground for our children. When the community builds the playground, the playground will build the community.” 

While SPARC Park has been open for use since May 4th, the formal grand opening for the playground took place on Wednesday, June 26 from 4-6pm. State Senator Michelle Hinchey, County Legislator for District 19 Chris Drago, and members of the Stanford Town Board were in attendance to show their support of the effort. 

“The newly built SPARC Park is extremely unique and the community has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the rebuild,” Julia said. 

Visit the new SPARC Park at 40 Creamery Road, Stanfordville, NY, or visit the Town of Stanford Recreation’s facebook page here