OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow officially opened the newly constructed basketball courts in Breitbeck Park today (July 18) while highlighting several other ongoing and upcoming improvements.
The city recently relocated the basketball courts and built new and improved courts while extending Harbor Trail another 500 feet to wrap around and connect to Breitbeck Park, is building new fire pits and seating areas, and has partnered with local Girl Scout Troop 10905 to develop a diverse play area where the basketball courts previously existed.
Mayor Barlow and the Common Council also dedicated the new basketball courts to Garrett Dunsmoor, a 22-year-old Oswego native who passed away suddenly in 2018.
Dunsmoor graduated cum laude from St. Lawrence University in May 2018 with a BA in Rhetoric/Communications and Business.
He earned the Presidential Scholarship over all four years, and a place on the Liberty League All-Academic Team for Lacrosse.
He was inducted into the National College Athlete Honors Society for being an outstanding student athlete who excels in the classroom, in their sport, and in the community.
He was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Male Athletes Against Sexual Violence, and SLU Student Government.
In his spare time, he volunteered as a coach for Oswego youth lacrosse and basketball teams.
He was also a counselor for the St. Lawrence University Lacrosse Camp.
“We are continuing our investment in our parks and public amenities, improving the quality of life, attracting people to our waterfront and providing our youth with modern and safe areas to enjoy,” Barlow said. “The new basketball courts will be a great area for folks of all ages to enjoy, while our extension of harbor trail will directly connect the trail to the park and playground.”
Barlow continued, “We’re also capitalizing on our waterfront by building a brand new seating area with a fire pit overlooking the marina and connect Breitbeck Park to harbor trail and I am excited to partner with our local Girl Scouts to convert the old basketball courts into an interactive play area for children of all ages. The improvements move our community forward as we make Oswego a more attractive place to live and visit.”
Oswego resident Michael Johnson approached Mayor Barlow and spoke at a Common Council meeting last year.
He advocated for new, updated basketball courts.
On Thursday, he praised the new area saying, “The renovations at Breitbeck Park, as a whole, is a testament to our city’s leadership and vision for a more inclusive city. The revitalization of the basketball courts at Breitbeck Park is also a testament to the power of voices within and around our community. I think that’s what we’ve done here with our latest project. We’ve allowed our city’s greatness to shine through by allowing everyday people to push for the positive changes they wanted to see in their local communities on a local scale.”
Girl Scout Troop 10905 thanked Mayor Barlow for the opportunity to participate in the improvement projects happening in Breitbeck Park.
In August, they will convert the former basketball courts into an interactive play area with a checker board, cornhole game, permanent hopscotch and other fun activities for children to do while visiting Breitbeck Park.
The Dunsmoor family said, “We are so honored and appreciate, Mayor Barlow and the city of Oswego dedicating the new basketball courts in memory of our amazing son, brother, and best friend, Garrett. Garrett loved spending time at Breitbeck Park playing basketball with his little brother, Dylan, and would be so happy to see that opportunity made available to the next generation of children in Oswego.”
Girl Scout Troop 10905 will begin working on its project following Harborfest later this month.
The firepit, seating area and stairs are a product of a state grant the city received in 2018 while the new basketball courts were funded and built by the city of Oswego.