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Amsterdam, NY ,



Shuttleworth Foundation has new life & new leader

Friday, March 14, 2014 - Updated: 10:27 AM


The Shuttleworth Foundation has been resurrected under a new director and new goals.

"We will be raising money so that we can enhance Shuttleworth Park," director Patricia Beck announced at a committee meeting Tuesday. "From the tennis courts to the softball fields to the walking path to the Mohawks to the benches to the playgrounds."

The foundation was officially created a year ago, but has been dormant. Beck recently announced her retirement as publisher of the Leader-Herald, which is giving her more time to spend in the community.

The foundation is a registered not-for-profit with the vision of renovating, beautifying, enhancing and maintaining Shuttleworth Park, according to a brochure. Beck said it's important to her that no specific part of the park gets preferential treatment and each section is strengthened as an assessment board, working with the recreation department, sees fit.

"Our initiative is to connect public and private funds as a means to achieve continual renovations to Shuttleworth Park," the brochure reads. "The possibilities are only limited by imagination and the willingness of the community."

The park originally opened on Memorial Day in 1914, making this year its centennial. It became Jollyland and was renamed Mohawk Mills Park when it was acquired by the Mohawk Carpet Mills in the late 1930s.

It was officially renamed Herbert L. Shuttleworth II Park on Dec. 9, 1977.

"Shuttleworth Park and the Riverfront Center and the golf course are all a part of what we talk about when we talk about the regional plan and economic development, because it's the quality of life," Beck said. "We fit into the picture of what local officials are trying to do for our region."

Beck said the foundation has already received an $8,500 grant from Home Depot to create a veterans deck for Mohawks baseball games.

They also received $1,000 from Stewart's Shops. Another $1,000 from an unnamed source should also be coming in soon.

"I have met with both state and federal representatives," Beck said. "We have walked through the entire park. They were very impressed with the park, very impressed with the walking path and a lot of the other things because that's where we'll put our energies toward, looking for grants."

Beck said she has asked for a liaison from the Common Council to fill a seat on the foundation's board of directors, preferably the same liaison who sits on the recreation committee which is 1st Ward Alderman Edward Russo.

Recreation Director Robert Spagnola said the initiative is "a wonderful undertaking."

"I think I can speak for all of us up here when I say we agree with you emphatically that the sky is the limit," Spagnola said. "Working together, we're all just starting out and we'll see where we end up."

"As long as we all have our eyes open and we let our imaginations run tremendously wild," Beck said, "that will be the only thing that will limit us."


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