Ben’s Red Swings 10th Anniversary

I love Ben’s Red Swings!

My favorite thing to play on is the tire swing. It is awesome!

Did you know that Ben’s Red Swings is celebrating its 10th year anniversary in 2014?

They are raising funds for renovations of the playground this Saturday (June 14th) with the Ben Layton Run/Walk 5K at 9am. The city has more info here on their website, and I think you should check out the Ben’s Red Swings Facebook page as well.

Do Parks Make People Happier?

Sorry for not updating my blog in a while!

I’ve been working on the DowntownSBYpark with my family and some of our partners all spring, and I will have some exciting updates next week!

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While you are waiting, I want to tell you about an article I read from psychology today by cognitive scientist, Art Markman, about the question: “Do parks make people happier?”

I liked this article. Here is the idea from the article that I liked the most.

One thing people often look for when moving to a new city is they look for neighborhoods with parks near them. Being near green spaces helps us engage in activities that will make us happier and healthier. My family loves green spaces and parks. This is something we looked for when we moved into #DowntownSBY.

Here are some other notes I thought were important.

Parks can influence whole neighborhoods.

Parks allow people get away from stress and noise.

Parks also provide places for exercise and movement.

Parks allow you to get in open space to run and even just to think and look at the sky.

Parks are the best!

And my DowntownSBY is the best, too!

Soccer Field in #DowntownSBY?

This past Friday, I had a meeting with Adam Manning. He owns and operates Happy Feet & Legends Soccer Training in #DowntownSBY.

Mr. Adam wanted to meet with me because he has an amazing idea for installing and maintaining a 65 foot by 50 foot soccer field near the pavilion by the Riverwalk in Downtown.

After I shared my presentation with him about the #DowntownSBYpark, I asked him the following questions which are very important for us as we dream about creating these “pocket parks”…

• Who will fund the soccer field?
• Who will maintain the soccer field by mowing and watering the grass?

He said that he had already thought that I would be asking questions like these. Mr. Adam has worked on a contract with a local landscaping company who will install the sod and then water and mow the soccer field. Happy Feet & Legends Soccer would even pay for any costs that come up in the building and maintaining of this mini-soccer park for the city.

I know there will be more questions like these we will need to answer, but this is a great idea for our first #DowntownSBY pocket park! I have another meeting scheduled with the Mayor to discuss this idea, because we will still need permission from the City of Salisbury and support from the community to begin creating pocket parks like this one.

Mr. Adam and I took a walk to the pavilion by the South Prong of the Wicomico River to see where the soccer field might be installed if we get permission to build the soccer field.

Check out these cool pictures…

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Park on TV

Guess what?

I was interviewed on local TV news WMDT and WBOC today about the #DowntownSBYpark!

Thank you to Kody from WMDT and Bill of WBOC for the opportunity to share my ideas with so many people! I will share the videos on my blog after they air tonight at 6pm.

Here are a few photos my Dad snapped during the interviews…

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Park Research DAY ONE

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Today has been a really looooong and fuuuuun day!

My family and I travelled to Annapolis this morning because my mom had a photo shoot. Dad, Rance, and I walked through Downtown Annapolis until we found their Downtown Park. It was very fun. This park is located near the docks. I liked their swing sets and a really cool geometric climbing ladder… it was shaped like a double helix!

Then we drove to Wheaton, Maryland in Montgomery County (by Silver Spring) to play on an awesome adventure park that we researched earlier this week. The Wheaton Regional Park is a community built park that has the greatest climbing hill and rope spider climbing equipment I have ever seen!

These are exactly what we could build TOGETHER in our #DowntownSBY open spaces!

Seriously, think about a hill like this in front of the Government Office Building! That would be so fun for kids and family to play and exercise on together!

Park & Mayor

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On Wednesday, I gave a presentation to Mayor Jim Ireton in his office at the Government Office Building (G.O.B.) about the #DowntownSBYpark. Mayor Ireton has been the mayor of Salisbury for the past five years.

My presentation was a little different with the Mayor after my meeting with Mr. Jake Day (Salisbury City Council President), Mr. Andrew Hanson (the lead architect with River’s Edge Apartments), and my presentation with Mrs. Andrea Berstler (the Director of the Wicomico Public Library).

I think we need to begin using our many “Open Spaces” in Downtown Salisbury more creatively.

Mr. Hanson described an urban design concept called “pocket parks”. These little parks and playgrounds can be spread out across Downtown with play equipment like a climbing hill, a rope spider climbing structure, a few swings, monkey bars, and other features as well. The main difference between one big park and several of these “pocket parks” is that we can use our existing “Open Spaces” and also build the smaller parks one at a time with unique play equipment on each one!

When I shared this idea with Mayor Ireton, he found a big and colorful map of Downtown Salisbury and he showed me all of the possible “Open Spaces” where we could investigate building a few pocket parks.

The Mayor has endorsed our park idea!

We are going to meet again in three weeks to talk about the next steps in building an awesome #DowntownSBYpark for kids and families to play and exercise!

Park & Library

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On Tuesday morning, I gave a #DowntownSBYpark presentation for Mrs. Andrea Berstler, who is the Director of the Wicomico County Library (located in Downtown Salisbury). She likes the idea of the #DowntownSBYpark and she has great ideas for the park, too. And I love her library!

I would like to partner with her so the park will be connected to the Library. I believe any park for kids and families in Downtown Salisbury should be very connected to the awesome stuff that the library offers.

One of her ideas was scheduling activities in the park so that it will attract more kids and families Downtown. For example, Mrs. Andrea suggested that we could partner with the Salisbury Zoo and schedule times when a zookeeper could bring an animal from the zoo to the park for a presentation. And the library could even have books on hand for kids to learn more about that animal.

I want to have a small performing stage in the park for kids to play and sing. Another one of Mrs. Andrea’s ideas was to get some puppets that are better for outside so that kids can check out puppets and play with them on the stage at the park.

What a great meeting! I’m excited about partnering with the library to create this park!

38 hours!

I can’t believe that in only 38 hours we have almost 400 likes on the #DowntownSBYpark Facebook page, and almost 200 petition supporters.

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Thank you for listening and thank you for all of your help! Let’s keep this going. Share this link and help us reach 500 petitions signed by this time next week!

Sign the petition!

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My dad and I created a petition today for the #DowntownSBY Park. You can help me bring a park for kids and families to play and exercise in Downtown Salisbury by signing this petition!

Oh! And thank you to Chris McIntosh for your help designing this park website! It looks great!

Hello!

Hello! I am Ryland Weaver.

I hope to create a park in #DowntownSBY for kids and families to play and exercise.

According to the Trust for Public Land… 95% of adults, 92% of teenagers, and 58% of kids do not get enough daily exercise. I want this park to be walkable in Downtown Salisbury, connected to local residential and retail, and attractive to kids and families. Above all, I want this park to be FUN!

Here is an awesome video about how parks make our lives better…