Trumansburg Connection: Trumansburg Community Recreation: land lends legitimacy

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It’s no secret that Trumansburg is a very active community, with no shortage of things to do or see. Art and culture, food and entertainment, and recreation and leisure activities abound. While the art and culture and food and entertainment industries run like well-oiled machines independent of each other, there is one thing that is missing in Trumansburg, and that is an organizing entity to support recreation and leisure activities, and facilities to house them. While the Village of Trumansburg, the Town of Ulysses, and the Trumansburg School District do help to oversee some recreational programming, there has not been a comprehensive entity to date. Trumansburg is the only municipality in the Tompkins County area that lacks the infrastructure to maintain recreation and leisure programming. Youth sports, adult education, senior programming and more are all organized by separate entities, mainly dedicated volunteers, that could be enhanced with proper funding and space.


In response to the growing need for space and staff to coordinate and develop recreational programs for the Trumansburg community, the Trumansburg Community Recreation (TCR) initiative was launched in 2016. The non-profit group consists of seven members of a Board of Directors and a small advisory committee. Their mission is to “Develop facilities & programs for community sports, recreation, and leisure in the Trumansburg area,” and their vision states, “By providing safe and enjoyable facilities and programs for sports recreation, and leisure, we will be helping to promote the health and vitality of our Trumansburg area community.” Initially, the group functioned through a variety of planning committee’s including marketing and fundraising in order to build their foundation. TCR representatives report now that the foundation has been solidified, the group is currently operating as one committee to execute the goal of creating community space.


According to materials distributed by TCR, there are five ways they hope to help the community: Create spaces for our community members of all ages to come together and enjoy a variety of activities; build sports fields to allow more access for our community sports teams; provide opportunities to help local seniors stay active; provide spaces for youth to engage in healthy activities; and to connect surrounding communities like Jacksonville, Covert, and Perry City with Trumansburg by providing a central location to gather.
TCR has identified three phases for the completion of the project. Phase one includes the purchase or lease of land to create a sports and recreation fields campus, which would include two baseball/softball fields, two soccer fields, a football field, a skate park, and a walking path. The fundraising goal for phase one is $750,000 to be raised presumably through a capital campaign, grant funding, and perhaps loans. Phases two and three have price tags to be determined, and goals include building or repurposing an existing building for office space and a community center, and construction of a community pool. All of this is proposed to reside on approximately 28 acres of land.


In order to begin the fundraising process, two things need to be in place. One is connecting to the programming. Fortunately, there is plenty of programming to go around, and TCR has formed a group they call “Four Boards” which consists of TCR, the Village of Trumansburg Board of Trustees, the Town of Ulysses Planning Board, and the Trumansburg School Board. The goal is to come together to streamline programming organized by each respective entity. Eventually, it seems TCR would provide the financial and technical resources, and a program manager who would be charged with the time-consuming process of organizing programs, which are now mostly organized by volunteers.


The second item that needs to be in place prior to fundraising is a commitment of lease or purchase of land, which, along with programming, lends legitimacy when asking for money. Ideally, the land would be centrally located and easily accessible to all in the community. Currently, while there are a couple of prospective possibilities, there is nothing concrete on the table, and the process of finding the land, raising the funds, and constructing the infrastructure will likely be time-consuming. But, if it’s done right, it will be worth the wait and an extremely valuable resource to the Trumansburg community.


In the meantime, as the search for suitable land continues, TRC is keeping active by integrating with other organizations such as creating the “Four Boards,” and also through the maintenance of a comprehensive community calendar and listing of community resources such as sports, arts, service, and school groups. They also send out a monthly e-newsletter that includes listings of upcoming recreation and leisure events. To find out more, get involved, sign up for the newsletter, or view the community calendar, visit their website, tburgcr.org.

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