A partnership that has benefited the citizens of Amherst had its life extended when the Town of Amherst and the Amherst Lions Club signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 24, 2022, for the continued development and operation of the Amherst Lions Park.
“We are very excited that our partnership with the Amherst Lions Club will continue,” Mayor David Kogon said, as he signed the memorandum on behalf of the town.
“Their contributions toward developing the park have been outstanding. They have impacted the health of people of all ages in our town, from young children to senior citizens, by helping to improve the recreational opportunities available to our citizens. They have truly worked with us to help make Amherst a great place to live, work and play.”
King Lion Phil Baxter, who signed on behalf of the club, echoed those comments.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Town of Amherst,” Baxter said. “The new memorandum was important to us because it defines the roles of both parties into the future and will ensure the stability of the park.
“We have been happy to work with the town to improve the recreational opportunities for the citizens of Amherst and are happy to know the park will continue to play a major role within the town’s park system.”
The new, renewable, 10-year memorandum replaces a five-year agreement that detailed the development of the park on the lands that for decades was the site of the former West Highlands Elementary School and is now the property of the Amherst Lions Club.
During the initial phase the club invested about $1 million installing playground equipment, a splash pad, washrooms, a basketball court, picnic tables, covered picnic areas and benches.
The town installed a tennis court and took over the day-to-day maintenance of the park.
The new agreement ensures the Lions Park will continue to be integrated into the town’s recreation plan in order to achieve its maximum usage. The town will maintain the park to the same standards as all other properties within its park system, including the green space, cleaning of the washrooms as well as maintenance of the trails, tennis court, splash pad and other facilities within the park.
The Lions Club will be responsible for all costs associated with replacing broken equipment.
It also outlines the communication process that must be followed for any proposed upgrades, changes or capital projects that take place at the park.
The club is planning to add more picnic tables and replace the fence located near the playground this summer.