CATSKILL ― The Fortnightly Club of Catskill unveiled a new playground beside Ricky Cramer Memorial Field on Monday.
The park, funded by the club’s Rip Van Winkle Wine, Brew &Beverage Festival, is equipped with slides, climbing sections and monkey bars and will serve children ages 5-12.
“This is the first time we’ve erected a brand new park,” said Teri Weiss, chairwoman of the Fortnightly Club’s Rip Van Winkle Wine, Brew & Beverage Festival.
The club previously upgraded the equipment at Elliot Park eight years ago and at Dutchmen’s Landing three years ago, Weiss said.
“This will be the first playground in Jefferson Heights that I know of,” she said. “It will be a great opportunity for local children.”
“There is a baseball field there already,” Co-chair Brenda Vandermark said. “Now, children can play while they’re watching the game with their families.”
The playground, which cost $58,000, is the first phase in the project, Vandermark said.
“If we have enough funding, we’d like to add another piece of equipment next year,” she said.
Another potential addition could be a dog park, Weiss said.
The club had been planning the playground since the beginning of the year.
“We’ve been saving proceeds from the fundraiser for playgrounds for 13 years,” Vandermark said.
The Fortnightly club has 35 members.
“We’re an all-womens club that focuses on giving back to the community,” Vandermark added. “Proceeds from our food-and-beverage event goes to the playgrounds; the Festival of Trees — which starts this weekend — goes to schools and clubs in the community, whether it’s the Department of Aging, food pantries, Council of the Arts, Cultivate Catskill or the high school.”
“We’re in our 86th year,” Weiss said. “It started out as a way to help with the war effort. The women would make care packages for the soldiers. Now, it’s a lot different, but everything we do goes back into the community.”
The club is very grateful for its sponsors, Vandermark said.
“Without community assistance, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” she said.
The playground project was also made possible by the town Highway Department, Weiss said.
“They were a godsend,” Weiss added.