Westport Veterans Memorial

In March 2015 a sub-committee of the Westport Bi-Centennial Committee launched a fund-raising campaign to create a Westport Veterans Memorial. The sub-committee approached the Ballard Park Foundation to see if the foundation would provide a site for the memorial in Ballard Park. Ballard Park Foundation suggested a location to the east of the formal garden, overlooking the park lawn and Lake Champlain. The site provides a peaceful surrounding and a reflective and contemplative natural setting for families, friends, and others who visit the memorial. In the fall of 2016, phase one of the memorial was completed with the installation of a monumental stone on which the brass memorial plaque is mounted, along with a stone bench in front of the memorial plaque and stone steps leading down to the memorial.

"In recognition of and with thanks for those men and women of Westport who served their country in time of conflict. Your Grateful Community Honors You. All gave; some gave all."

Veterans Memorial installation

Veterans Memorial Completed


WCS 2016 Community Service Project

Westport Central School 2016 Cleanup Crew

More than 20 Westport Central School students cleaned the beach, raked the grass, and made Ballard Park even more beautiful this year in the fourth annual Community Service Day. Thanks for your hard work!

Clean Beach 2016


Westport Central School 2015 Community Service Project

Westport Central School 2015 Cleanup Crew

Clean Beach 2015Westport Central School students gave the beach a spring cleaning as part of the third annual Community Service Day.

They picked up rocks and sticks, swept the steps leading to the beach, raked the sand, removed invasive species and planted flowers.

 

 


WCS 2014 Community Service Project


The 2014 beach clean-up crew.

 


Skating Rink Improvements

In the late fall of 2014 the skating rink was re-graded in order to facilitate the process of creating an ice sheet. This improvement was made possible by a generous gift by Ballard Park Trustee Mary Davis in memory of her mother Lyn Rothwell who loved to skate.

Skating Rink Improvements 2014
Skating Rink Improvements

 


Path Rehabilitation

The park paths were initially developed in 1991 and 1992. In the ensuing years the paths became overgrown with grass and virtually disappeared into the lawn. With a donation of stone-dust arranged by the Creating Healthy Places program of the Essex County Public Health Department and a generous gift by Rolling Hills Farm, the paths were scraped clean of the intruding grass and a new layer of stone-dust was applied.

Path Rehabilitation 2014

 


Results of our successful Bring-Back-The-Beach campaign. .....photo: Matt Hale

Beach Rehabilitation
In 2011 Ballard Park engaged arborist Ted Taylor and heavy equipment contractor Sheehan and Sons to bring-back-the beach to a more user-friendly condition. During the winter Ted Taylor removed dead and dying trees and cleared scrub growth along the top of the bluff over-looking the beach. This opened up the view of the lake for the upper parts of the park. Taylor also removed a number of rapidly growing poplar tress that were encroaching upon the beach.

In September, Sheehan and Sons shored-up and augmented the boulders protecting the bank
behind the beach to prevent shoreline erosion. The all-time, record high water in the spring of 2011 was especially damaging to the shoreline. Sheehan and Sons enlarged an area where the invading poplars had been removed, creating more useable beach area, especially for those summers when high lake levels greatly reduce the available amount of beach.


The restored Ballard Park Garden area.

Garden Restoration
In the waning days of the Westport Inn, the magnificent gardens shown in the historic, colored postcards of the Westport Inn in its heyday, could no longer be maintained.

Sometime in the late 1960's the owners of the Westport Inn property paved-over the garden along South Main Street in order to create a parking lot.


Ballard Park's trustees decided that removal of the asphalt and restoration of the garden should be a priority in the development of the park. In 2002 New York State awarded Community Enhancement Funds to remove the asphalt and replace it with topsoil. With privately raised funds a new garden was established.

It is interesting to note that the
"Journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society",
in its Winter 2006-2007 issue devoted to "The Common" included an image of the restored garden in Ballard Park in a photo page titled "The Place Preserved."

pictured left:
from "The Place Preserved"
Public land in the center of Westport, New York


Download the Adirondack Life article written by Jo Ann Gardener:
Ballard Park In Bloom: Reimagining a Victorian Garden in Westport