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Alderman, Volunteers Convert Unused Parks Building Into Useable Pavilion

</p> <p>The new pavilion, open from end to end.  All photos supplied by Russ Hayden.</p>
The new pavilion, open from end to end. All photos supplied by Russ Hayden.

Fulton 6th Ward Alderman Russ Hayden says he was driving around his ward on a recent day.  He passed by Vanburen Park on the city’s north side.  Balloons tied to the side of the park’s bathroom building caught his eye.

A party was in progress.  The partiers had brought their own tables.  The building was the park’s restroom facilies. “I started thinking, the restrooms had been closed about 15 years because of continues vandalism,” said Hayden “And the way this building was built made it easy for vandals, possible drug dealing and filthy graffiti to occur.”

In shorst, the building was just taking up space.

Hayden started asking city officials whether it would be possible to make the building useful again, to convert it from a bathroom to an open pavilion, so people could have picnics there while giving police and neighbors a clear view of what was happening in the park.  His nephew, Bill Hayden, offered to provide the labor for the job if the city would donate a truck or a dumpster for hauling away debris.

The city’s Recreation Committee visited the park for an inspection and agreed to Hayden’s plan.

On Saturday, September 27, Bill Hayden and his work crew showed up.  The building is now a pavilion, and Russ Hayden says there’s not much work left to be done.  “The project took a huge step forward,” he said.

He asked to be able to thank the work crew by name:  Bill Hayden, Dawson Hayden, John Brand, Chris Brand, Vincent Cappelletti and Kyle “Woodchuck” Williams.  “I can’t thank you guys enough,” he said.

NOTE:  This story began with an e-mail from Alderman Hayden, seeking to thank the volunteers.  You can help us tell your story of volunteers making a difference.  Just use our Send Us A News Story form in the Contact Us section and we’ll be able to highlight the good work done in your community, too.

1 Comment

  1. Our family held a birthday party in August in this pavilion for our daughter’s 21st birthday. We had looked at all the other parks in Fulton and really wanted something close to our house that family and friends would be able to find easily. After contacting the Parks & Recreation Department about getting some help cleaning up the pavilion, even with no restrooms or grills available, we found this park to be a very nice place to hold our party. Our hope would be that they would add some grills and portable bathrooms like they have at the other city parks. It’s a great place to have a family event, with a park close by and a huge open field, and in a quiet neighborhood. Thank you to the City of Fulton for their help in cleaning the pavilion and bringing in a couple picnic tables for us. You helped make our family event much nicer.

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