PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
To the Citizens, the Board of Selectmen, and the Town Manager:
The Recreation Department has seen many changes in 2015. Most notably, Steve Shible retiring after serving the Town of Farmington for nearly 36 years as Director of Parks and Recreation. I would first like to thank him for hiring me five years ago as Assistant Director, and for sharing the knowledge he gained throughout his career. I will be forever grateful to him and the Town for allowing me to have one of the best jobs you could ever ask for. I would also like to thank him for his hard work, dedication and his friendship.
On June 1st we hired Assistant Director, Seth Noonkester. He is a 2015 University of Maine at Farmington graduate, with a Major in Outdoor Recreation Business Administration. Seth is smart, energetic, and full of wonderful ideas. He is a pleasure to sit next to every day, and I am looking forward to the things he and I will accomplish over the coming years.
I would also like to mention a few other staff members who make my job much easier as Director. Charity Sargood, who became Custodian only a few weeks after I started, is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She is a jack-of-all-trades and does it all with a coffee in hand. Jaycee Jenckes and Sarita Crandall are two local college students who have been with the department since they attended Mt. Blue High School. Whether they are running programs for us, supervising birthday parties, or shoveling snow off of our ice rink, they do it with a smile and a wonderful attitude, which will serve them well in the future. A few others include: Kim Richards who has run our Junior Pro Basketball program for the last 24 years; Fred Conlogue who has run our Indoor Soccer programs and supervised several other programs for more than 15 years now; Milad Bizorgnia who has volunteered numerous hours supervising our Pickleball courts at the Community Center; along with all the other After School Staff, Summer Program Staff and Volunteers that devote their time. I would not be able to run such wonderful programs without their support.
We have had some wonderful feedback from the public about a few new programs this year and changes we have made to others. The One Day Wanderers Club, which is a hiking group for seniors, was very popular and allowed our group of hikers to experience summits, waterfalls, backwoods huts and gigantic glacial rocks. We also began running Start Smart Athletic programs to involve younger children in becoming active. Our Start Smart Soccer program had 23 three and four year olds, and I am expecting about the same for our Start Smart Basketball program that will begin this coming winter. In 2015, our Instructional Soccer program saw a few changes, such as customized team jerseys, weekly practices, evenly matched games, and a final evening of medals – all at a lower cost to participants.
The Department has also seen quite a few improvements throughout our facilities this year. Philbrick Park has finally had a new little league mound installed for the children in Farmington Falls. The major league and little league baseball fields at Hippach had sod work done on the pitcher’s paths and first and third base lines. Our soccer fields were dressed with all new soccer goals and benches this year. The Walton’s Mill Pond Park received some much needed landscaping around its entrance, and the Village Improvement Society Park and a few other parks also received some much needed care in their flower beds. Thanks to Sean Cabaniss and Bobbie Hanstein for their hard work.
I am excited for 2016 and am hopeful that we may be able to develop a few new programs and continue to make improvements to our current programs. I truly feel blessed to hold the position as Director, work with the people I work with and serve the people of Farmington. I hope to continue Steve’s tradition of excellence and am very grateful to him and the Town of Farmington.
I am very pleased to submit my first annual Town Report as Director of Parks and Recreation to the people of Farmington. If anyone would like more information about the Recreation Department feel free to stop by or check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/farmingtonrec.
Matthew L. Foster
Director of Parks and Recreation