Gloversville's Darling Field has been a place where generations of city residents have learned to play.
However, the park has seen better days.
While some may be tempted to write off the field as a lost cause, we urge city officials to improve the (mostly) green space so it can have a future as bright as its past. Chiefly, city residents should make their council members - and other officials - aware of what improvements they'd like to see at the field.
For years, parts of Darling Field, whose main entrance is just north of the intersection of Kingsboro Avenue and Newman Street, were the property of the Gloversville Enlarged School District. The city owned the tennis courts, the baseball field and some of the soccer fields at Darling. The school owned the basketball courts, parking lot, a garage and soccer fields in the middle of the park. Recently, the school district turned over its parts of Darling Field to the city.
Many people still use the park. The Fulton United Soccer Club and a summer basketball league have been using the field for their activities, and plenty of people visit the park while out for a stroll or to play on the tennis courts.
But now would be a good time for the city to do more with Darling Field. The city could make this landmark property even more significant.
However, it will take more than the work of the city government to truly improve Darling. City residents, organizations and businesses should discuss what improvements they'd like to see at the park and how it could be used.
To us, Darling Field seems like an ideal spot for the Gloversville Recreation Commission to have events. Given the size of the space, any number of festivals could be held at the field during any season.
Over the years, various ideas - including skateboard parks, larger playgrounds and dog parks - have been suggested as amenities the city could use. Now may be the opportune time to review the best ideas and incorporate them into Darling Field.
No one should expect big changes at Darling overnight. Renewing the field likely would take years of work - but it would be worth it, and probably wouldn't require a lot of money, either.