The Rhinebeck Rotary, at a regular meeting at The Beekman Arms on Monday, May 18, hosted Sally Mazzarella and Robert Ellsworth, both of whom spoke passionately about plans for the imminent construction and development of the Thomas Thompson/Sally Mazzarella Community Park located alongside and behind the Starr Library in Rhinebeck.


Ms. Mazzarella gave a brief history of the land acquisition and past development of the parkland, which, in its initial form, has been a vital part of the community for well over decade, providing library services, a swimming pool, a community garden, and myriad athletic fields.


The continuing development of the parkland, with added acreage and access to surrounding farmland, will see the construction of a skate park, a concession pavilion, a farming and nature preserve, a great lawn and adjacent meadow, and additional athletic fields. A trail network, a viewing platform, and an observation tower are also conceptualized in the first phase of construction.


Mr. Ellsworth, chair of the park’s development committee, gave an estimate of $900,000 needed to be raised in order to make the park all that is envisioned. For more information or to make a contribution, interested parties should contact: The Rhinebeck Park Fund, P.O. Box 147, Rhinebeck NY 12572,


The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets on Mondays at 12:15 pm throughout the year and is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through various projects locally, nationally, and internationally. Regular club meetings typically feature speakers who cover a variety of human interest topics. For more information on becoming a member, or to reserve a speaker’s spot at a meeting, please call Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.