WINDHAM — Clarence D. Lane Park, nestled in the northern Catskill town of Windham, hamlet of Maplecrest, was originally built in 1972 as part of a broader flood mitigation project. The park as we now know it was officially dedicated in 1982 and grew to include a softball diamond, soccer field, basketball court, playground, volleyball court, picnic pavilion with BBQ grills, limited walking path, and a 26-acre lake and accompanied beach.
While this public space served the local community well for years, the dam that originally formed the lake was significantly damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011, leaving this local gem in disrepair. Recently, concerned residents, hunkered down due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, who were left restless for fresh air and exercise, decided it was time to revitalize CD Lane Park. While the park was largely functional, it was apparent that the space had needed upgrading for several years.
The Windham Foundation, together with some area residents, teamed up with the Town of Windham to revitalize this asset of the community. They set about to identify improvements that would enhance the park, with a mind toward attracting families and preserving the park space for future generations.
The goals included: resurfacing and updating the basketball court, repairing and painting the softball backstop, adding a beachfront beach volleyball court and repairing the existing court, replacing and refurbishing the grills and picnic benches, improving the existing walking path and creating better access to the another 1.5 mile path on the other side of the lake, re-landscaping the front entrance, and adding additional parking.
Plans include to expand the lake beachfront by adding high-quality sand and to hire lifeguards during the season to allow for swimming and boating. The town has agreed to provide and maintain kayaks, paddle boards, life vests, and a new water sports storage building that will be available for seasonal rental for those who want to leave their water sports equipment at the park. Finally, the group is discussing the possibility of building a permanent amphitheater to host outdoor events at the park.
Initial funding from the Windham Foundation and a few residents has been provided to kick off the project. With a wish list totaling over $200k, more funds will be needed. The group will be raising funds through various initiatives. To learn more about this project and/or to donate, visit the website www.windhamfoundation.org and designate CD Lane Park project for your donation.