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Winter Will Not Halt Work for Friends of Fulton Parks Volunteers

FULTON, NY – Friends of Fulton Parks is active year-round, and currently seeking participants and volunteers to plan their first annual “Snow Softball Tournament” fundraiser in February.

Online Amazon shoppers can also show their support by choosing Friends of Fulton Parks Inc. when shopping at https://smile.amazon.com/. Amazon will donate a percentage of the sales to the organization.

The winter is also time for planning and preparing for the next year. On the 2018 agenda for fun are Sparkle-a-Park, A Day in Foster Park, Lake Neatahwanta Nature Trail Walk, and Oswego River Pathfinder Trail Halloween Hike.

Just before Halloween, Friends of Fulton Parks collaborated with Oswego County Opportunities’ Impact Program, Fulton YMCA, and Fulton NY Rocks to host their first Halloween Hike along the Oswego River on Fulton’s restored Oswego River Pathfinder Trail.

It was a round-trip hike starting at Indian Point and walking along the river trail to the Oneida Street Bridge (1.0 miles), or continuing on to the Broadway Bridge (2.8 miles), and returning to Indian Point Landing. Partnerships provided healthy snacks, bottled water, a trail leader, and Halloween-themed rocks to hunt and hide along the route.

Friends of Fulton Parks volunteers worked to clear the trail and make it usable as Larry Macner spearheaded the work by brushing, mowing, moving small piles of rocks and debris, and limbing branches that overhung the walkway.

“People should feel encouraged to follow Friends of Fulton Parks on Facebook to keep up with their events and everything they have to follow. Anyone who feels inclined is welcome to volunteer, pitch in, or just get out and enjoy what we have to offer,” Macner said.

The collaboration with community partners, he said, was “the icing on the cake” making a fun event even better including a surprise collaboration with owner of the Wag In, an establishment passed along the route who voluntarily offered coffee, water, apples, and dog biscuits to anyone walking the trail.

Larry Macner, avid FoFP volunteer.
Larry Macner, avid FoFP volunteer.

“It’s always a team effort. It starts with Kelley Weaver and includes everyone to make each project and event so successful,” he added.

Weaver, President of Friends of Fulton Parks, said it was a great collaboration of health-focused people, with many participants showing up to walk the trail including local residents and even a truck driver from Alabama who happened to be in the area at the time to enjoy the trail.

OCO’s Impact Program teamed up with FoFP to install permanent trail marker signs, like those along the Lake Neatahwanta Nature Trail. Inga Back of OCO orchestrated the healthy snacks, and also brought packets of candy corn with the health fact: Did you know it takes 30 minutes of walking to burn off 16 candy corn?

Inga’s sentiment, “I enjoy the peacefulness along the river trail,” was echoed by many regular users of this trail, including employees of Davis-Standard.

Inga Back of OCO.

Weaver summarized the public comments, “Trails like this, which are set apart from automobile traffic, provide people a safe way to enjoy their natural surroundings while getting exercise.”

 “People who didn’t know about this trail now do and it’s been cleared and marked to make it easier for them to use. Everyone has been positive, excited, and ready to walk,” Weaver said.

Plans are ongoing for the trail to continue south and eventually connect to the Stop 28 Boat Launch, with the potential to link to the Great Bear Recreation Area.

In a separate effort, Fulton Footpaths is making plans to connect trails throughout the city to provide a trail system originally proposed by Barry Ostrander, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. Fulton Footpaths is a two-person organization formed to obtain funding for the project. They recently awarded a bid to conduct a feasibility study to better understand the cost associated with the project.

In the meantime, Friends of Fulton Parks continues work to improve already existing city parks, playgrounds, and trails to give residents quality natural areas centered on play and physical activity.

Recently, Friends of Fulton Parks has worked on such ventures as adding exercise equipment at VanBuren Park purchased through an OCO grant, planting trees, and organizing the second annual Lake Neatahwanta Trail Walk.

The work never ends, however, as Friends of Fulton Parks awaits installation of new play equipment for the “Teen Haven” at Recreation Park, and sets their sights on new projects as well including a neighborhood proposal to improve Oswego Falls Park.

“We are just doing what we can to improve our parks and trails. Feedback from those who regularly use them tells us that we are accomplishing what we set out to do,” Weaver said. “We welcome new volunteers who want to help their community.”