About 50 residents came to Village Hall on April 22 to learn more about the Greis Park Master Plan, a $60,000 project to revamp the facility.
Last September, the village board unanimously voted to put the Colorado-based GreenPlay LLC in charge of the plan, which included an initial visit to the park in December, another site visit and analysis, meetings with staff and village administrators and the creation of surveys to find out what improvements residents would like to see made at the park.
“No decisions have been made yet,” said Tom Diehl, a project manager at GreenPlay. “The goal of the meeting was to let the public see and hear our findings and top priorities, and to react, comment and provide feedback.”
The seven-acre Greis Park, on Wilbur Street, has athletic fields, trails, picnic areas and playgrounds, but officials and residents have said for some time that it needed to be upgraded. In addition to housing the village pool and many of the community’s recreation programs and youth leagues, the park is the site of several annual events, including Patriots’ Day, on the eve of Memorial Day. Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach has called the park the “crown jewel” of Lynbrook, and noted that the board tasked GreenPlay with formulating the plan because it emphasized resident feedback.
“We chose GreenPlay because of the community involvement they have planned,” Beach said in September. “They plan on conducting multiple surveys.”
GreenPlay has already encouraged community input by mailing out postcards to 3,000 random homeowners in the village requesting that they take a survey, and then inviting all residents to participate in an open-link survey online. According to Diehl, 1,206 residents have responded to the surveys.
Diehl said that the top priorities residents have listed include artificial-turf fields, additional multi-use field space, a new recreation center, more parking, a walking and running trail, an area for picnics and barbecues and spaces for offices, community gatherings, programming and storage. He noted that no decisions had been made about any of those potential projects. The purpose of last week’s meeting, Diehl said, was to update the community on what the company has learned from visits to the park and the survey results.
In about a week, GreenPlay will check in with the village’s project team — which comprises Beach, Village Clerk John Giordano and employees of the Parks Department, including Supervisor Pat McDermott — to see if it received any additional feedback from residents, and whether the team has suggestions, Diehl said.
“Our team will prepare a draft report that includes a conceptual plan for Greis Park that will be shared with the village project team,” he explained. “A draft presentation will then be scheduled, which will include another public meeting.”
Diehl added that GreenPlay hoped to schedule the final draft of the plan in the next few months at a third public meeting. Village officials said in September that they had hoped to start work in the park by July. Because no plan has been finalized, there are as yet no cost estimates. The funding for the master plan was set aside in the 2018-19 village budget.
GreenPlay, which the village board chose to develop the plan over two other companies, was established in Broomfield, Colo., in 1999, and has completed hundreds of similar projects for communities in New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Maryland. In New York, it has designed parks in Amherst, Bethlehem, Saratoga Springs and Eerie County. GreenPlay has worked with Weston & Sampson, a design, engineering and environmental services firm, and RRC Associates, a consumer intelligence and strategic market research firm for the tourism and recreation industries, on the Greis Park plan.
Residents have told the Herald about many amenities they would like to see at the park, including a dog run, walking and bike trails, shaded areas over the playgrounds, a community garden, new bleachers, a fitness center, a multi-purpose room for dance and fitness, and a new recreation center with more programs.