Reclaiming Main South’s Castle ParkWritten by admin on June 14th, 2012
By Barbara Haller
In an inspiring effort to re-claim their neighborhood park, residents, businesses, agencies and city representatives have come together, with the help of the Main South CDC, and formalized the Castle Park Task Force. Castle Park is a 3-acre hidden gem located in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood.
Nestled on the top of a hill and surrounded by trees and dirt roads, this unique park makes you forget you are in the middle of the City (even though its only two blocks from Main Street).This great community asset includes a basketball court, a handball court, a playground, a walking-path, a great climbing rock ledge, and open green space.
Probably the most important accomplishment thus far, the Task Force successfully advocated for police foot patrols in the park. City Manager Michael O’Brien and Police Chief Gary Gemme’s uncompromised support of the Castle Park Task Force is a clear testimony to their belief in Worcester’s neighborhoods as the soul of our City.
The police presence has re-defined the park and provided the sense of safety that encourages families to use the park. It has also positively impacted relationships between police and community members, who are being given the opportunity to get to know each other.
The other transformative gift to the Park comes from the Main South CDC. This neighborhood-based organization committed to funding a half-time Task Force coordinator. This has given us the resource we need to keep the work moving forward.
In addition, the Main South CDCentire staff spent three days renovating the park last month. The staff filled the court cracks with cement, power-washed & painted both sides of the handball wall, removed graffiti, re-built and painted picnic benches, painted basketball court benches, and more.
The Castle Park Task Force is operating under the notion that the best way to weed out negative behavior is to load it with positive activities.An extensive amount of work has been done so far:weekly Family Playground Hour, a handball tournament, Calvin Bradshaw memorial tree planting for a much loved park neighbor, the post-Earth Day Clean-Ups Celebration hosted by the Regional Environmental Council, and a Preservation Worcester presentation on the Park’s rich history.