The Skiddy Park Enhancements Project is a collaboration between the Onondaga County Save the Rain program, the City of Syracuse Parks Department, the Near West Side Initiative with the Jim & Juli Boehiem and Carmelo K. Anthony Foundations. The redevelopment of Skiddy Park was possible because of established relationships with partners in the community who all wanted to work together to bring real change to the neighborhood.
The Near West Side Initiative originally approached the County about redevelopment plans for the park. This relationship eventually led to collaboration on the Courts4Kids program. The Courts4Kids program, a collaborative initiative of the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation and the Carmelo K. Anthony Foundation, provides funding for the renovations of basketball courts throughout the City of Syracuse. The program is intended to offer children in socio-economically disadvantaged sections of the City the opportunity to participate in healthy living activities, such as basketball, and improve play areas for children in the community.
The first phase of the Skiddy Park project was the redevelopment of the basketball courts in conjunction with the Courts4Kids program. The basketball courts were reconstructed using porous asphalt in lieu of traditional pavement. The porous asphalt allows stormwater to be captured on site. This innovative approach helps prevent harmful pollutants from discharging directly to Harbor Brook.
The project was the first green basketball court in the program and established a relationship with the Courts4Kids program for future projects.
Skiddy Park – Courts4Kids Basketball Courts
The second phase of the Skiddy Park project included renovations to the existing playground. The project was once again a collaborative effort between the City of Syracuse Parks, Department, Near West Side Initiative and the Save the Rain program. The playground was in desperate need of updating, and the partners all saw the benefit in once again coming together to make improvements at the park.
The completed project includes two age appropriate play areas, several seating areas and a new water feature. The project also includes a porous pavement walk path and extensive landscaping features to capture stormwater.
More than $40,000.00 was raised for the new playground equipment at the park by the Near West Side Initiative and community residents, with the green infrastructure enhancements funded by Save the Rain program. On May 17, 2012, the City rededicated the playground as the Paul Seymour Playground at Skiddy Park. The ceremony honored the life and contribution of former Syracuse Nationals star Paul Seymour. Following a successful career as both a player and a coach in the NBA, Seymour returned to Syracuse and opened a number of successful businesses in the neighborhood. Seymour also became very active in the community and was known for his generosity.
Skiddy Park – Paul Seymour Playground
The comprehensive renovations at Skiddy Park illustrate what can be accomplished through team work. Many partners worked together to bring the community a vital resource that impacts the lives of generations to come. Save the Rain is proud partner of the Skiddy Park project.