Possible Recreation, Sports, Entertainment Themes/Concepts Resulting from Focused Discussion #2

May 8, 2013

1. Establish a coordinated system to program, plan, and carryout recreational activities – There were a number of comments about the need for better coordination of the activities that currently occur and in planning for and implementing new activities.  One suggestion was that the Parks and Recreation Committee should assume this role.  Some of the ideas that relate to this theme are:

  • Need for better coordination of use of sports fields especially to accommodate non-traditional activities
  • Create a central volunteer pool so various groups aren’t competing for volunteers and to connect potential volunteers with efforts they might be interested in
  • Establish a central directory of the activities that already exist
  • Create a better way to let people know about the what is happening – informational signs, website community calendar, community activity listserve
  • Get staff of the school department involved in planning for recreation
  • Explore the potential for using City owned land for recreation

2. Make Gardiner the most child-friendly community in the state – The idea of focusing on making the City child-friendly was proposed as a way to attract younger households to Gardiner as well as enhance the community for people who already live here.  Many of the ideas mentioned below could fit under this theme but here are a few that seem especially relevant and don’t fit under other themes

  • Have a place to swim
  • Build a splash fountain for kids
  • Relocate ice rink from the waterfront and find a location/volunteers for a second rink

3. Expand the range of recreational/sports activities available for adults – There were a large number of comments/suggestions about the need for improved programs and facilities for adults – sort of an active for life theme that applies to all ages.  Some of the ideas that relate to this theme are:

  • Establish informal, less competitive rec leagues for adults – kickball, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee
  • Develop outdoor basketball, tennis and beach volleyball courts possibly in a central location
  • Foster winter activity – establish trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
  • Provide walking trails along the Cobboossee
  • Extend the rail trail downstream of Downtown

4. Provide more activities/facilities for teens/young adults

  • Develop a skateboard park with youth involved in planning and operating the facility
  • Hold public dances
  • Have a teen center – possibility of the Boys and Girls Club doing this – currently closes at 5:30
  • Have a teen drop-in center at Johnson Hall (already in planning)
  • Establish a teen coffee shop – possibly with teen involvement as part of a service learning project
  • Make the resources of the library more known to the community – already has after school programming

5. Have more entertainment opportunities

  • Have weekly outdoor concerts in Downtown or on the waterfront
  • Have movies and street dances on the waterfront
  • Have a Saturday market Downtown – Farmer’s market, locally produced foods, crafts/artisans
  • Hold a winter carnival
  • Find additional uses for Johnson Hall
  • Explore using the Volks March concept to bring people to Gardiner and have things to do
  • Promote geocaching

6. Foster the arts and the creative economy

  • Establish an after school visual arts program (already in planning)
  • Focus on developing the creative economy in Downtown
    • Regular art walks
    • More galleries
    • Additional restaurants

Parking Lot 

  • Explore restrictions on Sunday use of Quimby Field – can this facility be used for informal activities on Sunday
  • Provide space for start-up micro businesses
  • Develop local commercial recreation facilities – driving range, mini-golf, batting cages, boat rentals on the waterfront
  • Establish a dog park
  • Light sports fields for night-time use