Carmel, NY - Camarda Park is one of Carmel's crown jewels, a 36-acre property that offers fields for baseball, softball, lacrosse, and soccer, as well as a kid's playground, new basketball courts, and a spacious pavilion. It has received a number of improvements since opening in 2009, including a paved parking lot, which was added through a grant of $150,000 secured by Senator Terrence Murphy. Recently, elected officials and members of Carmel's Recreation Department gathered in the park's pristine parking lot to thank Senator Murphy for the grant and to acknowledge the team effort it has taken to turn the park into a thriving recreation center.
"Anytime we can keep kids off the streets and in a beautiful park, we're doing some good for the community," said Senator Murphy. "With the heroin and opioid epidemic infesting our communities, we need to have more places where kids can play sports and be with their families. I'm happy to see that our latest grant has been put to good use. It's always a wonderful experience to work County Executive Odell and the Town of Carmel to do something positive for the town. This is what happens when everyone talks to one another to make sure the job gets done."
"It was over twenty years ago, when I was President of the Carmel Sports Association, that we thought about building a park for the community, and now it's a reality," said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. "Camarda Park illustrates the value of sports associations. They create opportunities for families to become friends, and for friends to become families. It shows what you can do when you have generous people like the Camarda's, the cooperation of the Town Board, and the support of Senator Murphy. It's important to have solid representation in Albany and Senator Murphy provides that for us. And let's not forget the contributions of the late James McDonough, who always supported this town and its residents."
Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt added, "Thank you, Senator Murphy, you've always been there for us. We're very fortunate to have the support of you and County Executive Odell. Paul Camarda donated this land. We wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for his generosity and his commitment to our community. Dave (Furfaro) and Jimmy (Gilcrhrist) have helped bring this dream alive, but we would be remiss if we didn't mention the contributions of Bob Buckley, the former Chairman of the town's Recreation and Parks Committee, who worked tirelessly for this community and especially for this park."
David Furfaro, Chairman, Town of Carmel Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee stated, "Camarda Park has a special place in my heart. It wasn't an easy park to build. It took political courage to get it to this stage, and now it's a wonderful place for kids and families. Senator Murphy has been a real friend of Carmel and the park by getting us several large grants to build it."
Paul Camarda, who donated the land carrying his namesake, was among the many guests. "Nothing good comes easy. That includes getting the park to where it is today," he commented. "Working together for a common goal is what makes this county special."
Other attendees included Putnam County Legislator Neal Sullivan, James Gilchrist, Recreation and Parks Department Director, Town of Carmel, and Nina Kallmeyer, Senior Recreation Leader, Town of Carmel.