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Gray suggests exploring alternative recreational activities

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MASSENA - Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray says he would like to see alternative forms of recreation explored for those in the community who don’t want to participate in the typical fare offered by the Massena Recreation Department.

He asked members of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission this week if there was more they could offer to individuals who would prefer to participate in “non-traditional” activities.

Among those in the group would be senior citizens, he said.

Massena recreation officials offer a number of recreational opportunities, including swimming at the Massena Town Beach, ice skating at the Massena Arena or on the outdoor rinks, playing softball on one of their fields at Alcoa Field and Bushnell Field, tennis at the Alcoa Field tennis courts and youth fishing derbys.

But, Mr. Gray said, those activities might not appeal to everyone in the community, and he suggested recreation officials think about other ways they could provide services to those folks.

He noted that retired Recreation Superintendent Paul Patterson had tried to break the mold of traditional recreation by bringing in curling. However, while it initially generated a buzz in the community, they could not sustain the effort and gave up on the program.

“Can we do something else in the summer?” Mr. Gray wondered, suggesting shuffleboard and bus trips to the New York Power Authority’s Hawkins Point Visitor’s Center might be a possibility.

He also said sledding in the winter could be a bigger hit than it already is with children.

“I think we could do something more with sledding,” he said.

For instance, Mr. Gray said, Springs Park is active with sledders, and the East Orvis Street park could also be used more, even with the planned building of a Soap Box Derby track.

“We need more recreational opportunities for a different group of people,” he said.

Recreation officials are looking at holding a wine tasting event later in the year, and Mr. Gray said that was a good initiative that fit in well his with his request.

“I think things like the wine tasting are great. Curling was great as well,” he said. “All you can do is try these things and see if people participate.”

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