Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hoop it up

Exciting news here in Garfield Park!

Kids and adults waited with much anticipation this past month as city crews worked to pour cement, brush paint, and hang a hoop for a spankin' new half-size basketball court.

I am pleased to report the inaugural basketball game took place Saturday morning. Since Saturday, we've seen game after game of one-on-one, two-on-two, four-on-four, and horse (of course, of course). The sound of squeaky sneakers and bouncing balls fills the air.

While hanging out on the porch this afternoon, a sound foreign to the park hit my ears: the ping of an aluminum bat. I don't think I've ever seen a baseball game in Garfield Park. Yet, there it was. A pick-up game of baseball in between the basketball court and the sand volleyball court.

The players seemed to range in age from about 8 to 13. They played with a tennis ball and vague agreement as to the whereabouts of the bases. Although their language was quite salty, I was nevertheless pleased to see the kiddos sharing gloves and bats.

Now, if only that darn community center would open! We were told it would likely be open by the time the kids got out of school for the summer. Clearly that goal has not been met. We saw posted building permits and a work crew over there for a couple weeks last month, but everything looks very quiet now. The exterior of the building remains in ugly disrepair, and the lawn is one of the weediest on the park.

The park is teeming with happy kids and families -- now is the perfect time for the community center to begin building relationships with these constituents.

Image from http://eightiesology.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/basketball-hoop.jpg

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