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Hey Pawling...It all started with Selling Chickens!

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

One of the topics that has been being discussed lately in Pawling has been What's happening with our parks?
If you're new to our area, you've probably visited, and know about, Lakeside Park. It's a beautiful area with a nice lake on lovely property that used to be known as Holiday Hills. But do you know about Edward R. Murrow Memorial Park?

Chances are good that if you're a long-time Pawlingite, you know quite a bit about what us long-time locals call Murrow Park. You know that it was the vision & hard work of good, local might even know that the original financing was secured by selling bbq'd chickens on Route 22 (My father, Don Tanner, was involved-see him in the picture above). However, if you're new to the area, and you have driven by it, you might just think, that Murrow Park is a sad, little run-down park. Before you move on to read or look at something else on the web, you should know that recently there has been lots of ideas about what to do with Murrow Park.

It starts with location (hey, I'm a real estate guy...location, location, location!). The park is located on what, many years ago, was the Burr property. (By the way, click here or on the article image above, to see a more in depth write-up on the HISTORY OF Edward R. Murrow Park). It's a well known camping spot for Appalachian Trail hikers and

Murrow Park actually adjoins Lakeside Park. (See the following image. I've colored Lakeside Park in green, while Murrow Park is depicted in red.)

So, over the last few years, here are a few things that have been discussed regarding Murrow Park:

  • A survey was done by Betsy Brockway, (formerly a Recreation Director in Pawling and head of County Youth Services) to help understand what the community would like to see in the park.

  • Input was received regarding creating a community garden, a dog park area, refurbishing the ampitheatre on the Northeast end of the lake and connecting the trails to Lakeside Park (and many more ideas) -- Click Here to see PCF Final Report on 2015 Parks & Recreational Needs

  • Town Board Councilmen (Phil Derosa & Michael Montemarano) walked the park as part of an informal group consisting of various towns-people which was formed to revitalize the park. They discussed opportunities and ideas and eventually a report was created by Nancy Tanner which pushed the need for a strategic action plan incorporating Murrow and Lakeside Parks.

  • The Pawling Community Foundation hired and worked with the a national firm called LandDesign on various concept designs that tied Murrow Park and Lakeside Park together. This included concept designs and more...(Matt Clark, a Partner at Land Design knows Pawling well. He graduated from Pawling High School and owns a home in the Village of Pawling). -- Click here to see PCF 2017 Parks Improvement Progress Report

The three pictures above are taken from the Murrow Park Band Shell. I can remember sitting on the grass above the amphitheater on a blanket with my family and watching all sorts of performances. Everything from bands to summer plays put on by recreation campers.

So, you might be thinking, why is Pawling Real Estate/Taren Tanner posting all of this? The answer is to get you involved and asking questions. What's the master plan of the parks currently looking like? Where does the design work that was already done fit in? (For example, the specs for a dog park at Murrow were created by the LandDesign firm...why was some form of dog area created at Lake Side rather than Murrow Park?)

I'm a big believer in creating a plan and following it. Good land use planning is not willy-nilly. That's why there are blueprints, building departments and inspectors. So, what is envisioned ends up being built. Imagine wanting a house custom built. You go to an Architect and create the plans. The plans get submitted to the building department for a permit and given to a construction company to build the structure out. Wouldn't you be upset if the plans that were created were not followed and you ended up with some hodge-podge building that was worth nothing. It seems like we in Pawling are getting some things built out but where is the plan?

I'm told that the Pawling Community Foundation has some plans that are really quite detailed from Land Design. I'm also aware that these plans were shared with some or all of the Pawling Town Council. Wouldn't it be great if we could develop Pawling's Parks (both Murrow and Lakeside) with a plan? Especially, if that plan was already created (to an extent) without costing taxpayers more money?

I would like to see the Pawling community thrive. Right now, there seem to be lots of issues with communication and planning. Take a moment and ask yourself what you know about the plans for our parks are...if you don't know, get involved...even if it's a simple post on Facebook.

For those of you that have fond memories of Murrow Park, please post a note or a photo. You see, our local parks started with selling chickens to raise money, it started with community effort in a small and simple way. One step that you take can help connect our community and you don't even have to sell a chicken, just get involved...make a post or talk to someone on the Pawling Community Foundation and tell them that you'd love to know more about the plans for the parks.

Picture on one of the trails at Edward R. Murrow Memorial Park, Pawling, NY
Nancy Tanner and her beloved golden retriever, Spring on a trail in Murrow Park, Pawling, NY in 2010.

(Please note, the views represented in this blog are solely my own (Taren Tanner) and do not reflect the views of my broker)

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