The Town and Village of Rhinebeck officials are pleased to announce a groundbreaking event for the Phase 1 expansion of the Thomas Thompson-Sally Mazzarella Community Park to be held on Thursday July 9, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the park site on West Market Street/Rhinecliff Road (adjacent to the Starr Library). Town and Village Officials along with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the Frost Foundation, the Starr Library, The Winnakee Land Trust and Rotary representatives, other officials and Rhinebeck citizens will join in celebrating the commencement of construction for this project.


The land acquired for the Park’s expansion was partially funded by a significant Open Space Bond grant from Dutchess County.  A major portion of Phase 1 of the Park expansion has been made possible by a generous grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust. An additional grant has been provided by the Frost Family Foundation, which will help with the development of 2 ½ miles of nature trails around the perimeter of the Park.


The Winnakee Land Trust holds an easement on this wonderful property which allows for recreational activities, open space and agricultural uses. The Rhinebeck Park Committee, chaired by Robert Ellsworth, has been responsible for the planning and implementation of this important community project. Town Board member Allan Scherr and Village Trustee Howie Traudt serve as liaisons to the Park Committee.


The Park Masterplan was designed in 2009 by the Landscape Architecture and Engineering firm the LA Group. This plan was further developed over five years by the engineering and planning firm of Weston & Sampson. Roehrs Construction, Inc. of Clintondale was awarded the bid for construction of Phase 1, which involves the execution of site infrastructure. This phase will include a new and safer entrance road serving both the Park and Library, clearing, grubbing, earthwork and storm water controls as well as a septic system for a restroom pavilion.  Also included are sidewalks, curbing, street lights and new trees leading to the pool complex as well as a new water main, telecommunications and power distribution leading to the Pavilion site. The Library will have a new traffic pattern and additional parking spaces. The existing Library entrance will now be used exclusively for pedestrian traffic.


A timber-frame Pavilion will house restrooms, a concession stand and a sheltered terrace facing a rain-garden. This project, which is expected to go out to bid in the early fall with construction following, has been designed pro bono by Frank Mazzarella Architect and engineered by Crawford & Associates. Execution of the nature trail network will begin this summer under the guidance of Town Councilman Bruce Washburn. The construction of a trailhead kiosk designed pro bono by Robert Wills Architect will be coordinated as part of this effort. This improved park will balance the diverse needs of the community’s children, families and seniors, who will enjoy expanded recreational facilities while helping to support the preservation of farmland and open space. A Great Lawn will provide for a diversity of uses such as picnics and kite-flying as well as team sports. The park’s extensive open fields and trails will be used for cross-country races and a variety of other events. Seniors and families will enjoy healthy hikes in a natural environment and trail spurs will offer views of the joining of the Landsman and Rhinebeck Kills, providing opportunities for educational programs and quiet reflection. Acres of productive farmland saved from development and protected by conservation easements will support continued agricultural activities. Future phases will include the creation of new fields for soccer, baseball, softball and lacrosse, accommodating players of all ages. Additional parking areas and other park amenities will follow.


The Thomas Thompson–Sally Mazzarella Community Park will truly be a special place for the enjoyment of children, families and seniors for generations to come.


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    Teresa Vilardi 133 White School House Road Rhinebeck, NY 12572

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