City of Plattsburgh Announces First Round of parks Renewal Projects

(PLATTSBURGH, NY - July 20th 2023) - City staff have submitted a list of proposed initial Parks Renewal projects to the Common Council for their review and approval. The list of recommendations was informed by public input and includes much needed upgrades to restroom facilities, refurbished basketball and pickleball courts, walking paths, and playgrounds at various park locations throughout the City. An approval would allow the specific projects to move forward with actual construction beginning in the Spring of 2024, and allow for the utilization of the $2.6 million earmarked for Park Renewal efforts.


Process for Choosing the Projects

The Parks Renewal Project was initiated in the Spring of 2022, when the City hired consultants Barton & Loguidice to create a Parks Master Plan for the City of Plattsburgh. The consultants conducted a community needs assessment to determine how the five parks; US Oval Park, Peter Blumette Park, Melissa Penfield Park, South Acres Park and South Platt Street (Fox Hill) Park would be updated and redesigned using $1.5 million dollars in funding. 


The public completed a parks survey and were invited to attend Parks Come Alive! events in 2022 to provide feedback on what the community wanted to see in the Parks Master Plan. In December 2022, the Common Council dedicated an additional $1.1 million in ARPA funding to the parks renewal project bringing the total project budget to $2.6 million. A draft plan was presented to the public in Spring 2023, and community members had the opportunity to provide further comments using the City’s online engagement platform,


After the public comment period was over and a revised plan provided, City staff determined which projects would be prioritized for each park based on available funding, the state of the current park infrastructure, and community desire. Funding allocations to individual parks varied based on the above considerations but every effort was made to ensure an equitable distribution of funding across all five parks. The Mayor’s office is looking into additional funding to support this project.


Plattsburgh City Mayor Christopher Rosenquest says, “You’ll hear me say this over and over - Parks and greenspaces are economic drivers for our community. Having parks and places to play and gather make for a healthy and thriving community.” “As we’ve seen with our parks revitalization initiatives along with the Park Come Alive! series, our residents and visitors enjoy the parks in our City. We want to maintain them and see their uses grow. This requires investment!”


First Round of Projects

It is important to note that the Council approvals being sought at this time cover only the final design work and management of the construction bid process.  The projects for which actual construction contracts are eventually awarded will be dependent upon the project budget, any additional funding allocations approved by the Council, and the bids received later this year once the final design work has been completed and bid specifications issued for all parks.  The City does not expect to construct all projects listed below in 2024, but the design work for these projects will be completed for future construction.


In US Oval Park, a new public restroom facility and a 6’ wide walking path around the perimeter of the US Oval will be designed. At the South end of the park, the Veterans Park will be upgraded thanks to a $125,000 contribution facilitated by Assemblyman Billy Jones.


In South Acres Park, restoration of and improvements to restrooms in the barn and a 6’ wide walking path around the park’s perimeter will be designed.  Resurfacing work on the South Acres Park pickleball commenced this week and will be completed in the coming days or weeks depending on the weather.


In Peter Blumette Park, the design work includes solutions to chronic drainage issues throughout the playing fields, improvements to the restroom facility, resurfacing of the basketball court, a new picnic area with wheelchair accessible tables to replace the park’s expansive asphalt courtyard, clearing the overgrown canal along the park’s western edge which contributes to the drainage issues noted above, and refurbishment of the park’s commemorative sign.


In Melissa Penfield Park, renovations to the restroom facility will be designed along with an expansion of the building to provide a new rentable space for use by the community. The design of an expansive new playground to replace the current one in the park’s northwest corner is also included.  The City intends for this to serve as a destination playground and the design work will serve as both the City’s down payment and the basis for a fundraising campaign which will seek community partnerships and sponsorships to assist with fully funding the playground’s construction.  A $100K pledge from Lake Champlain Ferries for the construction of a renovated skate park has previously been committed.  The highly specialized design work required for the skate park led to a decision to pursue that project along a separate path but the City remains committed to its completion.


At South Platt Street (Fox Hill Park), the design work includes demolition of the dilapidated playground and its replacement with a larger structure.  Demolition of Fox Hill’s restroom structure is also included with the scope as is the design of a new restroom and clubhouse to be constructed closer to the parking lot.


“We knew going into this that we were going to need to focus our efforts as well as increase investment into our parks. For years our parks have been neglected, maintenance deferred, all the while getting used,” says Rosenquest. “Now we’re faced with not only getting them back to standard, but looking to the future and how to improve them based on community demands and feedback.”


Next Steps 

This list encompasses only the first round of improvements the City plans to make to our parks and several dozen additional projects are included in the Parks Master Plan. The Community Development and Planning staff are compiling a list of potential grant funding sources to help fund the remaining Parks Renewal projects. All of the required design work for the park improvements will be completed in 2023 with an anticipated construction date starting in 2024. Future improvements are expected to be funded through borrowing, general fund spending, and grants. 


The City also invites local businesses and organizations to pledge their support for these projects and embrace this generational opportunity to enhance our community and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.  Learn more and make your pledge by contacting