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Berlin Parks Commission Briefs

Members of the Berlin Parks Committee discuss several matters of importance during a meeting last Tuesday evening in the conference room at Town Hall on William Street in downtown Berlin.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(May 16, 2019) The Berlin Parks Commission discussed the following items last Tuesday:

Spring, summer programs

Two organizations inquired about access to the recreational courts at Stephen Decatur Park and Dr. William Henry Park in Berlin.

Mary Bohlen, administrative services director for the town, said Worcester County Recreation and Parks wanted to hold an after-school tennis camp until July 28 and requested using the courts at Stephen Decatur Park on Tripoli Street, off Route 113, in Berlin.

Bohlen added that the Ocean City Baptist Church wanted to have a bas- ketball camp from July 15-19 at Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street in Berlin.
However, Bohlen identified a poten- tial snafu that may increase the cost for the church because “they can’t seem to verify that they’re actually a certified non-profit.”

Bohlen said she’s been communicating with both agencies about their requests, and commission members offered unanimous support to the initiatives.

“The most important thing is that the facilities get used, and if more organization are using [them] to serve the kids, amen,” said commission member Patricia Dufendach.

The matters will then go before the mayor and council, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

Clean Up Day results

Bohlen informed the other members of the commission 72 volunteers were present at Clean Up Day on April 27.

While Bohlen was pleased with the participation, she said the turnout was almost too good.

“We had so many volunteers that we ran out of stuff for them to do,” Bohlen said.

The Town of Berlin also worked with Comcast on Comcast Cares Day, which she previously said contributed to the increase in volunteers. Bohlen added the company will be making donations in the fall, and she plans to stay in touch with organizers.

Spring Just Walk

Spring Just Walk in Berlin had roughly 30 participants at Stephen De- catur Park on May 4, Bohlen said.

The Berlin Parks Commission and the Worcester County Health Depart- ment sponsored the event.

Participants had the opportunity to walk on one, two, and three-mile paths. Bohlen reported that a section of the scrap tire path facing the tennis courts, near the rain garden, had fallen into disrepair.

She said the stretch “wasn’t meant to be installed quite this far north,” and safety concerns had resulted.

“So, it’s unfortunate,” Bohlen said. “They patch it where they can but that particular spot was such a low spot that it just a waste of material effort to keep patching it so they went ahead and took that out.”

Basketball funding denied

The Berlin Parks Commission was denied a grant to provide lighting to the basketball courts at Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street in Berlin.

Bohlen said she filled out a community parks and playground grant application through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Land Acquisition and Planning’s Program OpenSpace.

Bohlen said the project cost was projected to be $114,500 and that the grant would have paid for $105,500 of it.

National Night Out

Members of the Berlin Parks Commission brainstormed ideas for the 2019 National Night Out.

National Night Out aims to strengthen relationships between area residents and law enforcement, according to the event’s website. It has been going on for 36 years.

While the exact parameters in Berlin are unclear, the date for the nationwide event is Aug. 6.

Parks Commission member Sarah Hooper suggested incorporating a purple tablecloth with the festivities to highlight the “Worcester Goes Purple” movement, a countywide initiative to prevent substance abuse in Worcester County.

There was a community interest meeting last Monday at Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services in Berlin to help start a conversation about substance abuse prevention.

“The purple table cloth is a good start,” Dufendach said.