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Watertown gives funding for Thompson Park marketing efforts

in Local News 60 views

More people are finding out about historic Thompson Park, thanks to a marketing campaign that has produced more than 500,000 hits in Google searches since the fall of 2021.

The marketing program is designed to attract more people to the city-owned park. On Thursday, the Watertown Local Development Corporation, also known as the Watertown Trust, was given a progress report how an $80,000 grant had helped to get the message out about the park.

With last year’s $40,000 in funding and this year’s funds, Watertown Trust officials think that the marketing program is getting the outcome that they thought it would.

“It definitely shows significant interest,” said Watertown Trust CEO Donald W. Rutherford.

The folks at Zoo New York put together the marketing program. The city has never devoted a marketing campaign to the park.

The first year of the marketing campaign focused on gathering data on how many clicks the park receives on social media. The park also received 363,995 views on Instagram and has 499 followers on Facebook and reached 64,000 people since November 2021.

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These States Allow Visitors Free Off-Road Wheelchairs In Their Parks and Nature Areas

in Enviroment 155 views

Parks departments across the country are beginning to offer free all-terrain wheelchairs at their visitors centers for disabled people to explore their states’ treasures of nature.

Such programs have already cropped up in Colorado, Michigan, and South Dakota, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park Service unit, has also added off-road wheelchairs to their park’s resources.

With some weighing 500 pounds or more, the motorized all-terrain wheelchair is like a Caterpillar but without the scoop and the cabin. The tracks can allow it to go up or over some serious obstacles, such as stumps, mud, snow, and more.

The first state to set the trend was Colorado, who started in 2017 with their Staunton State Park Track-Chair Program which provides free wheelchair access with the regular entrance fee.

Later the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources placed all-terrain wheelchairs in 12 of their state parks, boat launching sites, and trails.

Georgia and Minnesota recently joined this group, with the latter recently-wrapping up a pilot program that tested chairs in 5 parks, the Washington Post reports.

Continue Reading on GOODNEWSNETWORK

U.S. State Park Unveils New Trail Made of Illegally Dumped Tires

in Place 363 views

Officials from Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and local leaders today cut the ribbon on a new hard-surface walking and biking trail in T.O. Fuller State Park that’s over 2.5 miles long—made from rubber crumbs derived from tires.

The tires had been illegally dumped in the area around the park, gathered by volunteers and local contractors, then transformed into crumbs by Patriot Tire Recycling in Bristol, the only facility in the state with the ability to recycle tires in such a way. It is one of the longest rubber-bearing trails in the U.S.

Once the tires were recycled into crumbs, the material was brought back to the park for construction of the trail.

The project, which began with collection in 2019, was funded by a Tire Environmental Act Program grant of $250,000, and near-equal amounts from other state department programs.

“This is a quintessential example of recycling in full circle, collecting dumped material then converting it into positive use,” said David Salyers, commissioner of TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation.

“It’s exactly the kind of responsible environmental activity Tennesseans can be proud of, where an area can be cleaned up then have people enjoy the benefits in a new way.”

The trail largely replaces worn cart paths from an old golf course, with new connections making for a modern loop trail design.

Workers cleaned up over 24,000 dumped tires, including passenger, commercial truck and heavy equipment tires. The cleanup had 450 registered volunteers and saw 10,000 tires collected in one day.

“TDOT spends more than $19 million annually picking up litter and educating the public about the negative impacts,” said TDOT Interim Commissioner Joseph Galbato, III. “We are thankful for collaborative partnerships like the ‘Tires to Trails’ project which not only addresses the litter problem but turns it into a meaningful and positive long-lasting resource for the community.”

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City to hire contractor to work on Thompson Park trails

in People/Place 256 views

WATERTOWN — With spring just about here, it’s about that time for improvement work to begin again on the trail system in Thompson Park.

The city will look at a two-pronged approach this year.

In the past, volunteers have used tools to remove brush by hand to widen trails and reopen underutilized portions of the city-owned park.

The Friends of Thompson Park, a group of park enthusiasts, have overseen the work.

For the first time, the city plans to hire a contractor to do some of the work. On Monday night, the City Council informally agreed to set aside $50,000 for a contractor to bring in a specially equipped skid-steer loader, such as a Bobcat, to clean out the brush and crush the material into wood chips.

“You can get a lot more done,” City Manager Kenneth A. Mix said.

Last summer, GYMO Architecture, Engineering & Land Surveying lent a loader to do the work. A Black River company then removed the brush.

It came at a good time because he city had problems finding seasonal help to work in the park and on the trails, Mr. Mix said, so he thinks it is a better idea to bring in a contractor.

“We were impressed with what got done,” Mr. Mix said, adding that the loader is able to make the trails wider. “It was more efficient than doing by hand.”

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St. Lawrence Seaway Visitor Center – Reopens

in Local Business 307 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) –

SEAWAY VISITORS’ CENTER OPENS JULY 2, 2021

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) is announcing that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Visitors’ Center, located at the U.S. Eisenhower Lock in Massena, NY, will open to the public on a limited basis on Friday, July 2.  It will remain open daily, including weekends, through Labor Day, September 6, 2021.  The hours of operation are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

The Seaway Visitors’ Center at the Eisenhower Lock provides tourists and ship watchers with an observation deck where they can view commercial vessels as they transit the lock that raises and lowers ships more than 40 feet.  The Center’s exterior grounds and observation deck will be open, while the main indoor building facility will remain closed except for elderly visitors and persons unable to walk the steps to the observation deck.  A number of safety precautions will be in place and there will be strict enforcement of social distancing, mask wearing if unvaccinated, a temperature check for all visitors, and additional measures consistent with current COVID-19 safety protocols for Federal facilities.

Continue Reading on WWNY TV

A ‘Time’ Vortex and One of A Kind Zoo Makes A Great Day Trip in Watertown, NY Read More: Vortex and One of A Kind Zoo Makes A Great Day Trip in NYS

in travel 402 views

I just discovered a place I never knew existed that is home to a mysterious phenomenon, “the Thompson Park Vortex” and it’s located in Thompson Park in Watertown, NY. Within this urban park is a one-of-a-kind zoo, Zoo New York. You may have heard Big Chuck and I talking on the radio about this around the water cooler this morning.

Between the zoo and the vortex, you could certainly make a day trip out of this and it would be quite the adventure! Be prepared though, if you visit the vortex in Thompson Park because you may experience headaches, nausea, a feeling like you’re being watched, hallucinations, and even a feeling of intense illness. The vortex affects everyone differently.

Of course you’re wondering…what in the heck is a vortex? According to hauntedhistorytrail.com, The Thompson Park Vortex is described as “a time vortex that transports those who discover it to another portion of the park. Eyewitnesses to the phenomenon have reported over the years that the location seems to move within the park.” What’s behind this mysterious vortex? Some investigators believe that the “time” warping effect and physical sensations experienced by visitors is a result of electromagnetic fields (EMF) present in the area.

Continue Reading on CNY News

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