(WNY News Now) – The Village of Celoron is set to revamp the beloved Lucille Ball Memorial Park on Chautauqua Lake, with plans for a state-of-the-art playground and increased accessibility.
Celoron – In a bid to breathe new life into the renowned Lucille Ball Memorial Park, nestled along the picturesque Chautauqua Lake in Celoron, the village is embarking on a transformative journey. WNY News Now had the privilege of speaking with Shirley A. Sanfilippo, the Village Clerk-Treasurer, who shared insights into this ambitious undertaking.
The heart of this transformation involves the demolition of the existing playground, making way for a cutting-edge play space, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2024. The village has secured crucial financial backing, thanks to a Consolidated Funding Grant from New York State, amounting to $165,000. Additionally, the Chautauqua Regional Foundation has contributed a Community Impact Grant of $20,000, with an extra $25,000 grant courtesy of The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation. These funds will play a pivotal role in bringing the project to fruition.
The centerpiece of the new park will be a thoughtfully designed playground, catering to children in two distinct age groups – 2 to 5-year-olds and 5 to 12-year-olds. Equipment necessary for the playground’s development has already been ordered and is expected to be assembled and ready for shipment by December of this year. This proactive approach signifies the village’s commitment to providing an enhanced recreational space for its residents and visitors.
Notably, the Village of Celoron is striving for inclusivity by applying for an additional grant from the Ralph Wilson Foundation. This potential funding would allow the playground area to incorporate a solid surface, addressing the needs of the disabled individuals who frequently visit the park. This commitment to accessibility aligns with the village’s broader vision of ensuring the park remains a welcoming space for everyone.
The investment in Lucille Ball Memorial Park doesn’t end with the playground project. The village has already allocated nearly $2 million towards a series of improvements, including the construction of a boardwalk, the installation of state-of-the-art handicap-accessible bathrooms, the addition of a kayak launch, and the creation of two boat launches. These enhancements underscore the village’s dedication to making the park an all-encompassing destination for outdoor recreation and relaxation.
To provide the public with a glimpse of what lies ahead, Sanfilippo shared renderings of the new park. It’s evident that the village’s commitment to preserving the legacy of Lucille Ball while embracing modernity and inclusivity is at the forefront of this revitalization effort. The future Lucille Ball Memorial Park promises to be a space that is open to everyone and accessible to all, reinforcing its status as a cherished gem in the heart of Celoron.