The State of Sunrise Park – A Response

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As chairman of the Suffield Conservation Commission since 1988 and an active member since 1975, one of our main duties has been to oversee the day-to-day operations of Stony Brooke and Sunrise Parks. Over the years, the Commission has strived to keep Sunrise Park in its natural state, to the maximum extent possible, as intended by those families and residents who donated monies to help purchase the Park back in 1966. This includes my own family and the families of several members currently appointed to the Commission.

I would like to respond, on behalf of Highway Foreman Mark Cervione and myself, to an article entitled “The Sterilization of Sunrise Park”, published in The Suffield Observer on July 1, 2020.

As overseers of the Park, one of our main concerns is the safety of those who visit. To accomplish this, the Commission works jointly with the Public Works and Highway Departments to help insure the safety of the Park’s visitors. The above referenced article criticized some of the recent work conducted at the Park. This work included, repair/maintenance of the volleyball court, removal of vines and some vegetation behind the house and barn, and removal of several fallen trees on the edge of White’s Pond.

The invasive vines/vegetation removed was actually entering into the garage area through the windows and was threatening the integrity of the building. Other vegetation removal included dead trees that had the potential to cause injury should they come down and also the removal of brush on the hillside to the rear of the Superintendent’s house. This provides a better view up to the pavilion area for the Park’s Superintendent. Several fallen trees were also removed from the White’s Pond due to reports that kids were accessing them for fishing purposes. It was decided that these should be removed due to safety concerns. Lastly, the volleyball court was cleared of brush and sand brought in to cover exposed roots, which were also a safety concern for those playing volleyball.

Other recent work includes a makeover of the Park Superintendent’s house. This work included new paint and rugs inside the house.

I know the Commission sincerely appreciates all the past work and future work to be done at the Parks by the Highway and Public Works Department, and we look forward to working with our new Park’s Superintendent Tom O’Brien. 

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