By CASEY CROUCHER
Residents are encouraged to attend a planning session Saturday morning at Sassafras Park to brainstorm ways to improve the park's condition.
"Through time and weather the park has deteriorated," Mayor Ann Thane said. "I was contacted by people on Facebook regarding the park's condition and I thought to myself, why not get together and figure out a way to do help this park so that we're working as a community again and bringing together everyone's ideas?"
Thane created a Facebook event page for the park's facelift called "Get Sassy!" and as of this morning had nearly 70 people confirm they want to volunteer their time to help.
Saturday's planning session will start at 10 a.m. in the park bordering the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. Thane said if it's raining the group will meet at city hall.
"We're going to do a walk-through Saturday and plan what needs to be done and then go from there," she said. "Anyone who has ideas or wants to help should show up."
After the group drums up ideas for Sassafras, Thane plans to meet Aug. 9 and execute the plans discussed.
"We may be putting down new ground cover, replacing swings, doing some carpentry, doing some sanding, some painting, some staining," she said. "So there's a lot of work that needs to be done there and we plan to swoop in and do it all in one day."
Thane said the park has been a part of many peoples' lives and she wants to restore it and bring it back to what it used to be.
"A lot of people have gone there over the years," she said. "In 20 years all of our children have played on that playground and there's a whole new generation who wants to play there, so that's a lot of lives you're touching. There's a lot of community ownership there and it occupies a special place in our hearts. We'll make a go of it and bring it back to life."
The mayor also said she hopes the attention placed on Sassafras will increase attention on other city parks.
"I'm hoping with all this attention to parks that people will help with the other parks as a community and we can come up with a strategy for maintenance and park activities for the future," she said.