If you’ve visited Steers Park in Northport Village lately, you have surely noticed some major improvements. What was a vast piece of rundown property, with an outdated playground and overgrown landscaping, including clusters of thorny weeds that grew beneath the children’s slide, is now noticeably upgraded.
The space is part of a multi-year project spearheaded by Village Trustee Meghan Dolan, a mother of three young children who campaigned last year on making Village parks more family-friendly. “We are reimagining and revamping this awesome space,” she told the Journal during an on-site interview last week. “There is so much potential here, so we want to invite people to come and use it.”
With the help of Village Administrator Roland Buzard and the Highway Department, the park now has new dirt on the fields, and there’s been extensive weeding and landscape removal along the fences. There’s a new path, made with “RAP” (recycled asphalt product) that runs the perimeter of the park, meant to be used by both walkers and bikers.
There is also a brand new playground in place, with fun elements such as a web climber, two slides, and instrument panels. The flooring is no longer dirt and weeds, but poured-in-place rubber surfacing that’s easier to maintain and safer for playing children.
The bathrooms next to the playground are in decent shape, Dolan said; that building will get a fresh coat of paint. The concession stand isn’t currently functioning, but it’s on a long list of ideas that Dolan is brainstorming for the future.
She’s also thinking about using an empty grassy area toward the very back of the park as an outdoor classroom or meeting area where Scout groups and community organizations can hold workshops. She envisions pickleball courts in an unused area between the playground and soccer fields, too, and has met with vendors to discuss plans.
Dolan also thinks the park needs more shade, a bigger gazebo, and an updated entrance. Areas for other sports may be considered in the future, she added.
“This should be a reminder to Village residents that this is here. They should be using this space and we’re trying to make it nice for them,” Dolan said.
Additionally, Steers Park welcomes hundreds of children throughout the week for the numerous sports leagues that use the fields. “I think this is the coolest thing,” Dolan emphasized, with a vision of community and outdoor recreation for families. Her children – ages 2, 6 and 8 – have all been down to the upgraded playground and approve.