Last week, the gazebo was installed. While there is still some landscaping to be completed, the building was in place just in time for the Independence Day festivities at the park. "We do lots of cookouts. And then we all go down to the park and watch the fireworks, so we wanted it in for that," says Lindberg.
Lindberg has seen several people using the gazebo's seating and shade. The location of the gazebo is not only convenient for the nearby residents, it also allows walkers to sit, rest and "enjoy the pretty view," she says.
Millennium Park's master plan eventually includes a playground in that section of the park, and project organizers thought the gazebo would be a nice place for parents to sit while their children played.
The Lindbergs and Serreses raised the money with fliers and a door-to-door campaign. Although it took nearly two months to raise the money, more than 60 individuals and couples made financial contributions to the project, "well over 50 percent of the neighborhood," Lindberg points out. "We got a lot of good response. A lot of people have thanked us."
Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation matched the $1,800 raised by the Lannock and Argyll group to finance landscaping around the gazebo and a path to connect the structure to the park's trail system.
Group's contribution led to matching money project
The generosity and novelty of the Lannock and Argyll group's contribution inspired Parks and Recreation to create a local matching money project. The Matching Grants Program is designed to contribute anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 in matching funds to a local group making a donation to the park.
For the 2004-2005 fiscal year, "we have about $40,000 set aside that we can match with different persons, different groups," says John Drake, director of Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation.
Drake sees a niche for community members and organizations to make small but substantial gifts to the park through the program. He suggests that groups could develop projects including benches, tables, portable bleachers, batting cages, or landscaping with the money available.
The matching money program could even be used for the amphitheater project, "if we had someone that wanted to proceed to make that a reality," says Drake.
"Right now, it's scheduled to be completed on a one- to two-year time frame. I think it's more realistic to put back it to the three- to five-year stage. I think it could really be a jewel to the whole park, whether you're the artsy type or not."
He says that while most people now use the park for sports or active leisure activities, the amphitheater would create opportunities for different kinds of park use. However, to get the project moving, community involvement could be key.
Parks and Recreation anticipates that the Boy Scouts, church groups, organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, school groups and local sports associations such as the Little League, among others, may be interested in the matching grants program.
To apply for matching funds through the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Matching Grants Program, call John Drake at (859) 238-1233 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.