Date Set for 2017 Thornden Park Chili Bowl Festival
The Thornden Park Association looks forward to hosting the annual Chili Bowl Festival in the Field House on Saturday, March 3rd, 2017. More details will follow in the new year.
Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association Seeks Assistance With Gardens
Almost a decade ago, Thornden Park's neighbors along Meadowbrook Drive enhanced the community with the establishment of end-cap perennial gardens. Due to volunteer turnover, additional support for maintenance of the gardens is needed. Please consider lending a hand - labor and financial support will help keep these public gardens properly maintained.
Yoga in the Park Scheduled for Sundays in August
The City of Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation is sponsoring free outdoor yoga classes at the Lily Pond in Thornden Park at 7:00 a.m. each Sunday in August.
The first class will be offered on Sunday the 7th and future classes will be held, weather permitting, on the 14th, 21st, and 28th. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a spot.
Shakespeare Returns for Summer 2016
The Syracuse Shakespeare Festival -- with help from the Thornden Park Association, the City of Syracuse's Department of Parks and Recreation, and a host of private sponsors -- will once again present a pair of shows in the Amphitheatre this summer.
Coriolanus will run from June 17th to June 26th, with shows at 5:30 p.m. on Friday the 17th, Saturday the 18th, Friday the 24th, and Saturday the 25th. There will also be matinee performances on Sunday the 19th and Sunday the 26th. In keeping with the tradition of Shakespeare-on-the-Grass, these performances are open to all on a pay-what-you-can basis.
The Taming of the Shrew will be the second Thornden performance of the summer, running from August 12th through August 21st. Performances are free, with shows at 5:30 p.m. on Friday the 12th, Saturday the 13th, Friday the 19th, and Saturday the 20th. Matinee performances, also free of charge, will be staged on Sunday the 14th and Sunday the 21st. This production will feature special performances by Syracuse City Ballet and Open Hand Theater puppets.
We hope to see you there!
Orange Seeds Assists Thornden With Big Event
This weekend we
kicked off our 2016 gardening/weeding/clearing season in a BIG way. Syracuse University service organization Orange Seeds graciously included Thornden Park in its Big Event, a community-wide volunteering blitz on Saturday, April 16th.
We expected 20 students, but 70 showed up to
work on this glorious day. Despite the fact we didn't have enough tools
for everyone, the students cleared many feet of brick pathways, raked flower
beds, and assisted the Syracuse Rose Society in weeding the E. M. Mills Rose Garden. With the help of Orange Seeds, we completed over 160 hours of work
in one day!
Summer 2016 Discovery Camp Registration Now Open
Once again the
Thornden Park Association and The New School has set dates for its highly
successful summer Discovery Camp for children. This year we will be sponsoring
five weeks of camp.
forms will be available on line at: http://www.thorndenpark.org/DiscoveryCamp.aspx.
registration form/fee will secure your child’s place in the camp.
Hundreds Enjoy Maple Day at Thornden Park
Neighbors, friends, and maple enthusiasts made March 12th's inaugural Maple Day another
great event in Thornden Park. A special thank you is owed to Cornell
Cooperative Extension's Kristina Ferrare for coming up with such a great
idea to celebrate a rite of spring - making maple syrup in the city!
The event featured a number of activities for the whole family, such as learning
how to tap maple trees, sampling maple sugar cotton candy and pancakes,
and playing outdoor games provided by the City of Syracuse's Department of Parks and Recreation
and Youth Services. The turnout for this three-hour event was over 300
2016 Chili Bowl Festival Scheduled for Saturday, March 5th
Circle the date of March 5th, 2016, and be sure to join us for the 2016 Chili Bowl Festival at Thornden Park's Field House.
Come sample our chili and enjoy the park from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.; bring your neighbors and friends!
Stay tuned for more details.
New Exercise Equipment Installed In Thornden Park
Five new exercise stations have been installed along the
Madison Street Corridor. The exercise stations replace the old, wooden Par
Course, originally installed in 1980 and replaced in 1995 through a grant by
the University Neighborhood Service Agreement Advisory Committee (UNSACC).
UNSACC grant monies also helped fund the new, replacement exercise course.
The Madison street corridor was chosen to begin the
replacement of the exercise course because of its high “exercise-related”
traffic. The chin up bars located on the south side of the corridor are the
most popular station and have been reinforced numerous times. Now, a metal chin
up structure, sunk into concrete, provides three height-levels for increased
accessibility. The City of Syracuse paid for the replacement of the chin up
bars and provided carpentry help for installation.
The other 4 stations include a Assisted Row/Push Up station,
Plyometrics station that were installed on the north side of the Madison street
corridor and a hand cycler and a squat press that are located on the east side
of the Carriage House. All stations are accessible for people of all abilities.
The metal stations are designed to resist all weather and
are an attractive green and gray color scheme that complements the park environment.
Each station has instructions. Landscape Structures and Thornden Park
Association funded the safety surfacing and installation was by CNY Masonry. More
replacement stations are planned in the coming years as grant funds become
Thanks to Summer Volunteers from SUNY-ESF and Colgate Alumni of Central New York!
Thornden Park looks better after consecutive Saturday clean-up efforts.
On Saturday 22 August, the Colgate University Alumni Club of Central New York worked
like beavers (pun intended), cutting down weeds, brush, and trees hiding
amongst yews and arborvitae around the Herb Garden. We are hoping it will regenerate now that there is sun, air, and growing
room. This energetic group were joined by area residents Aida
Khalil, Paul Aviles, Lynne Odell, Lenora Monkmeyer, and Miranda Hine. Special
to Parks for providing the tools needed for this work session. The pile
of brush we amassed is quite formidable!
On Saturday the 29ths, sixty ESF Freshmen and their orientation leaders more than doubled this summer's volunteer
effort in Thornden Park! This is hard to imagine. For the past few
Thornden Park has
from this extraordinary annual volunteer effort. A special thank you to
Crandall, Office of Student Affairs at ESF, and Steve Harris, City
Department of Parks and Recreation for all the planning and organizing
needed in advance of this day of service. Not only do the students
park with their might and muscle, but they also connect with the
they learn about valuable outdoor resources in their midst. This year in
Thornden Park students fanned out and worked on the E. M. Mills Rose
The Lily Pond, the Lilac Grove, Winter Walk and the flower beds at
Street entrance. They contributed over 180 hours of labor. Thank you so
New Drinking Fountain Installed at Playground
Thornden Park Association, TNT Area 5, and Department of Parks and
Recreation have collaborated to install a new dual-user drinking fountain at Thornden, designed to hydrate (leashed) pets and two-footed drinkers alike!
TPA received a grant to replace the old, dare we say
ancient, water fountain near the playground.
Thanks to Glen Lewis of the Parks Department for overseeing installation.
Memorial Installed at Thornden Park Lily Pond
Thornden Park Association has repaired and upgraded the brick foot pads
under the two stone benches in the upper Lily Pond garden area.
area is a peaceful place to rest and enjoy views across the waterfall
towards the E. M. Mills Rose Garden. Inspired by its contemplative mood,
the brick foot pads in front of the benches have been rebuilt and
slightly enlarged to accommodate inscribed bricks to honor people who
have been active in either the history of the park or the Thornden Park
Each footpad has a central brick that explains this
concept. Those being honored are Debbi Wellman, Katie Moran, Susan
Hardoby, Lee Titchener, Major Alexander Davis, David Campbell, and Dan
Collins. The Thornden Park Association will add names in the future as
it deems appropriate.
A special thank you to Lyn Simmer for coordinating
this project and David Suarez for his masterful masonry skills.
Weeding to Keep Thornden Beautiful
A HUGE group showed up on a BEAUTIFUL Saturday morning and we got a
lot accomplished. The beds around the Carriage House are weeded; we planted
some annuals at Madison Street entrance to the park and two thirds of the driveway
to the Carriage House is cleared of grass – thanks to an amazing effort by Mark
Then we moved on to the Lilac Grove, which was somewhat daunting. Where to start? Restoring
this is going to be a HUGE job. We decided to mark off one section to work on
this year. One of our first missions is to get a weedwacker or lawnmower in
under the lilac.
Thank you for all your efforts go to Grace Flusche (who brought
Souradeep), Marilyn Zaleon, Paul Aviles, Ellen Somers, Kathy Downing, Lenora
Monkmeyer, Jeanette Mattson, Mark Pourpore, and Matt Oja.
Do join us next time:
Thursday, August 13, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 22, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, August 29, [time TBA – ESF Day of Sharing]
Excellent Turnout for 2015 Thornden Park Association Garden Tour!
On June 14th, the Thornden Park Association hosted its Annual Tour of gardens located in and around the Syracuse University neighborhood. This year's tour attracted over 150 visitors. Thanks to all those who attended, and special thanks to the gardeners!
Garden tours raise funds for the Thornden Park Association’s continuing efforts to restore and revitalize the park, which has been its mission since its inception in 1983.
2015 Shakespeare Festival Dates Set For August
Chili Bowl Festival a Success!
New Roof Installed on Water Tower
The end of 2014 saw the completion of renovations to a Thornden landmark, as contractors finished installation of the Elon P. Stewart Standpipe's new roof.
The extensive renovation project was carried out over the course of a year and cost $2.85 million.
A Post-Standard staff photographer captured some exciting shots of the installation of the new roof, which can be viewed here.
Congrats and Thanks
This summer has been quite rainy. Perfect weather for weeds
to grow strong and healthy. Most gardeners would agree, especially members of
the Syracuse Rose Society, who have a herculean job of keeping all the raised
beds in the E. M. Mills Rose Garden free of weeds. To the rescue, on Friday,
July 18, came 14 young, energetic, hardworking students from Syracuse
University (aka The Weed Killers.”)
These students, who are part of the
federally funded TRIO program, donated two hours of their busy summer residency
to help weed one entire quadrant of the garden. They were joined by their
supervisors, two members of the Syracuse Rose Society, two students from ESF
and four members of The Thornden Park Association. The pile of weeds in front
of the group is the result of forty hours of labor! We are so grateful to these
students for their assistance. They made Syracuse a better place!
Twelfth Night’s Love Hits Your Funny Bone in this Year’s Shakespeare-In-The-Park Romp
Amor Vincit Omnia
"Love hurts, love scars, love wounds, and mars." Twelfth Night contains
a classic romantic triangle: Count Orsino loves Olivia, who is
infatuated with Cesario/Viola, who pines for Orsino. Concurrently,
Olivia's steward Malvolio and Sir Andrew Aguecheek each pursue Olivia,
while she in turn seeks out Sebastian, whom she mistakes for Cesario,
who is really Viola.
No one is truly insane in Twelfth Night,
but a current of zaniness pervades the action of the play. Separated
twins, various disguises, and impediments to love conspire to make Twelfth Night seem like an episode of Frasier written by Shakespeare.
Until the final resolution, one feels as if the pur-suit of romantic
relationships does more harm than good. But true love sees the soul.
True love recognizes the noble inner qualities of the beloved as well as
the outward. The play provided Shakespeare with
an opportunity to address (and sometimes mock) concerns raised by the
Puritan theater critics of his time. Just as in our own enlightened age, Elizabethan theater critics anointed themselves the keepers of public taste and propriety and Shakespeare resented being judged. Twelfth Night was
his opportunity to explore conventional wisdom regarding gender,
sexuality, class identity, and morality. Thus, the play's main
antagonist Malvolio is shut out from all the fun and gaiety ultimately
expressed by the other characters. Someone has to be the butt of the
jokes while Love conquers all.
Friday, August 8th: 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 9th: 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 10th: 2:00 p.m.
Friday, August 15th: 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 16th: 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 17th: 2:00 p.m.
For nine years, the Thornden Park Association has co-sponsored Discovery Camps in Thornden
Park’s Carriage House.
From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., children explore Thornden Park’s many features enjoying outdoor
activities, which integrate, art, science, and language arts. Weather permitting, swimming will be included in their afternoon activities. Over the years this program has
In collaboration with The New School, we now offer five
weeks of camp in July and August. This year our camps were fully enrolled by
March and will serve 60+ children. Registration fees for 2014 was $90. Scholarships
are available. If you would like to receive advance notice for the 2015 season,
Thornden Park Association. July 14 (Students entering Pre- K. K, 1)
Thornden Park Association. July 21 (Students entering Grades 1, 2, 3, 4)
Thornden Park Association. July 28 (Students entering Grades 2, 3, 4, 5)
In addition, the Thornden Park Association will co-sponsor two other camps with The New
Camp 4: New
School: August 4 (Students entering Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Camp 5: New
School: August 25 (Students entering Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Symphoria Brass Quintet - Free Concert
Thanks to the support of the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association, Symphoria's Brass Quintet will play a free show in Thornden Park's Amphitheatre on Sunday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m.
In the event of rain, the concert will be held at the University United Methodist Church (at the corner of East Genesee Street and University Avenue, four blocks northwest of the park).
2014 Shakespeare on the Grass
It's time for our Shakespeare-On-The-Grass series. This year's show is one of Shakespeare's great "problem" comedies, Measure for Measure.
The show is directed by producing artistic director Jamie Bruno and stars Jack Sherman (The Duke), Simon Moody (Angelo), Heather McNeil (Isabella), Sarah Bradstreet (Mariana), and Basil Allen (Lucio), leading an outstanding cast of fifteen actors.
This a pay-what-you-can show where we collect a donation at intermission. Food is available for sale at the concession stand from the Thornden Park Bulldogs and ice cream from Gannon's Isle.
Show dates are: June 20-29, 2014
Friday: 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m.
Weeping Beech Bench Raffle
Want to win this stunning bench, created by artist John Noviasky?
We will be selling raffle tickets for the next two months. You can purchase them at our Garden Tour table on June 15 and at our booth at the Westcott Cultural Fair. The winner will be drawn at the Westcott Cultural Fair. Tickets will cost $5 or 3 tickets for $12.
Chili Bowl Festival a Great Success
The 2014 Thornden Park Chili
Bowl Festival was held on February 8th, and was a huge success.
The event cleared a profit of over $2,100, making it the 4th-most
successful CBF since the event’s inception about 20 years ago. The cold but sunny weather helped bring out a
large crowd that packed the Field House for the duration of the event. Two television stations sent camera crews and
aired stories that evening, highlighting the event and the Thornden Park
Association’s work to improve the park and encourage its use.
The Chili Bowl Festival has
benefitted from loyal support by many area businesses, several returning as sponsors year after
year. Gianelli Sausage donates all the
ground sausage and beef for the Syracuse
and Classic Beef chilis, and Plainville Farms, despite its reduced CNY profile,
ships turkey thigh meat from Pennsylvania each year for the Turkey Chili.
Additional loyal business contributors for sponsorship cash and in-kind
donations for raffle prizes are Geddes Federal Savings & Loan, Blue Prints
Dog Studio, Cooperative Federal Credit
Union, Nancy Freeborough DVM, Pei Lin Huang, Syracuse Real Food Co-op,
Anthony’s Pasta Bar, Beer Belly Deli, Coleman’s Florist, Insomnia Cookies, Ken
Nichols Art, Mello Velo, Middle Ages Brewing Company, NY Bold Onions, Picasso’s
Pastries, Piraino’s Country
Liquors, Skytop Liquors, Solvay Bank, Symphoria, Syracuse Stage, Tops
Friendly Markets, and Wegmans. The delicious home-brewed root beer from E. J. Wren is donated by Peter Ensminger every year.
Thanks, also, to our generous members who
bought raffle tickets & made donations!
Again this year, the CNY
Disc Golf Association held their “Ice Bowl” tournament on the same day as
CBF. The two events make a great pairing
showing how the park can be used throughout the year and not just in the warmer
In March 2013, Thornden Park lost one of its landmarks as a wind storm toppled the park's 170-year-old weeping beech tree.
We are also seeking five to ten local artists who would be interested in creating a piece of art from the wood of this beech tree and donating it to the Park Association.
In lieu of payment, the artist would receive some of the wood for his or her personal use. The donated art will be raffled by the Thornden Park Association at the Chili Bowl Festival, the Garden Tours, and the Westcott Cultural Fair.
Upstate Cricket Club
Established in 2011, we are a strong group of motivated
individuals from different backgrounds. Most of the enthusiasts are graduate
(PhD and masters) and medical students at SUNY Upstate Medical University, but
we also have post-doctoral fellows, physicians, trainee doctors, physician’s
assistants at our behest. Even though cricket is traditionally a colonial game,
we have many American enthusiasts who play regularly. Thus we have good mix of
people not only from different educational backgrounds with both male and
female participants but people from different country of origin such as India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, USA, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Jamaica etc. Our professional commitments
permit us to play on the weekends. We manage a good 4-6 hours of play every
time. Recently we have upgraded our cricket equipment to meet the increase in
strength of players and the ever expanding enthusiasm.
Newer equipment and increasing number of enthusiasts have
brought newer challenges. We would love to play at a bigger field and lately we
have been playing at the Thornden park football field. However, the center of
the field (which is pivotal to our game) is uneven and needs regular
maintenance as far as the grass on the ground is concerned.
You can visit our facebook page: ‘Upstate Cricket Club’.
History of Thornden Shared
Susan Hardoby spoke about the history of Thornden Park and presented slides to the residents at The Oaks Residential Community at Menorah Park on July 7th. Some of the residents shared their remembrances of the park in earlier days, as they lived in the area back then. One resident said she had pictures of the many flower beds that inhabited the park in the forties or fifties. We are always interested in stories and pictures of the park and would love to hear and/or see them, so if you have any, please contact Susan. She also is willing to come speak at any gathering or meeting interested in learning about the history of the park. Call her at 445-1798.
In October 2008 Susan Hardoby presented the Park's historical slide show to the Women's Organization of DeWitt Community Church (and we thank them for their kind donation to help us continue our efforts in the park.) Please know that this presentation is free and we are more than happy to show it to your group. (We also have a video called Uncommon Ground, that we produced about the park.) Both are available to your community, church, garden or any other group or organization that may be interested in the history of the park and what a group can do to improve our wonderful public green spaces. Just give Susan a call at 445-1798 to schedule her in to your program. Thanks.