Rotary spruces up Pine Hill playground

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By Jay Braman Jr.
Armed with little cash but lots of enthusiasm, the Fleishmanns/Pine Hill Rotary Club recently set its sights on helping out the forlorned Smith Park in Pine Hill.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the group held an impromptu celebration of those efforts, which brought to the park custom-crafted benches, a new basketball court and other amenities.
Club Vice President Carole Chanler was pleased with how much was done thanks to the volunteer efforts of people like local craftsman Klaus Thienel, who made the benches.
She added that several local businesses, among them Josh Construction, Wadler Bros., and the Belleayre Plaza, made contributions as well.
“We managed to scrape together $1,000,” Chanler said. “Mostly with in-kind services.”
Before the improvements, Chanler said the park was not a place that saw much sport’s activity. “The basketball court was in total disrepair,” she said.
Now, thanks to new backboards and a new playing surface, the court is ready for action. “There have been a lot of kids coming here now,” she added.
Club member Gary Gailes said it was the efforts of many that helped make the project a success, noting that help was offered by the Phoenicia Rotary Club, the Shandaken Highway Department and the Shandaken Parks and Recreation Board.
Addressing the crowd of about two dozen on Wednesday, Gailes said it could not have been done without them.
“Everyone here deserves credit for revitalizing this park,” he said. “This is what Rotary does.”