Committee Hopes to Fully Renovate Benson Park Shoe

The April meeting of the Benson Park Committee saw a discussion on how to get their recently acquired golf cart moving after nobody was quite sure where to find a missing key. The cart, a new battery, and a charger were all donated by the Green Meadows company, which will help some of the less mobile members get around Benson Park during events without needing to walk everywhere.
“I haven’t found the key yet, but we’re going to ‘hotwire’ it soon,” said Committee member, Mike Catanzaro, who had a plan to get the cart running. “I have a plan; we’re hoping it’s going to hold together and it should be fine.”
Chair, Jack Madden, already had the needed liability forms and golf cart procedures ready to go.
An ongoing review of the Park’s GPS trail maps is still being updated.
“I checked the website last week, and the update of the names of the lakes and ponds and so forth still have not been added,” said Madden, who promised to follow up with the Conservation Commission to see how things were going. “Because it’s in GPS, it’s a software package you can access on your phone so you can find out where you are on the trails.”
The Committee hoped to find a rototiller to clear grass from several overgrown areas, restoring gravel trails to sections of the park.
“We had the trails where the gravel has got the grass growing in on it, I had it in the back of my mind that we need a rototiller to do some of that work, although you could do a lot of it kneeling down with hand tools,” said Madden.
He confirmed they had a supply of gravel for repairs and suggested looking into how much it would cost to rent out a rototiller.
Another conversation involved improved security around the Old Woman in the Shoe structure, which has suffered from vandalism. The Shoe is being repainted, but a recent need to remove broken glass in the area raised concerns that any renovations might be undone without better security.
“Maybe we should think about having a video camera over that way,” said long-time volunteer, Sue Clement. “It is a historical site, we have a posting on it: ‘Please stay off this beautiful, historical site.'”
It was unclear whether adding a security camera to the area would be feasible, although Clement had been in contact with the Hudson Police Department to have them run extra patrols in the area. She also picked up some broken glass inside the Shoe.
Other repairs to the Shoe will include window and door replacement, complete with a new lock to control access.
“We did want to check out to see if inside the Shoe is strong enough, we were thinking about opening the door maybe this summer for a picture day,” she said. “I think the kids would line up in droves.”
The Benson Park Committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. in the Hudson Cable Access Center.

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