City Parks: 2018 was a very good year, with more in store for 2019

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It is hard to believe 2018 is coming to a close.  We continue to focus on providing quality recreational facilities to serve the public and enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Manchester.  In these economic times, it became obvious that the pursuit of public/private partnerships was a necessity.

The Kiwanis Club of Manchester began our effort this year with a $75,000 grant earmarked for the renovations of some of our many outdoor sports courts.  This year the basketball court at Sweeney Park and the pickle ball courts at Rock Rimmon were renovated.   U.S. Soccer and SNHU also offered to partner with Manchester to introduce two mini pitch soccer fields.  Each pitch will be 50-feet-by-100-feet with locations at Sheehan-Basquil Park and at Gossler Elementary School. This grant award totaled $160,000.

Manchester has many beautiful and historically-significant monuments throughout the city.  One such monument located at Pulaski Park commemorates  General Casimir Pulaski.  General Pulaski was instrumental in America’s fight for independence. The monument is currently in a state of disrepair.  Two women who tirelessly work behind the Manchester scene reached out to the Parks Division with hopes of entering into a partnership which would raise private funds for the renovation of the statue.  Aurore Eaton and Patricia Howard have already raised $25,000 for the project and continue to look for donations toward the $100,000 goal.

Two aging facilities, the Regis Lemaire Youth Center and the Adam Curtis Skate Park, were removed this year. A new modern facility on this site is currently being  designed to include a new larger youth center, a splash pad, a zero entry pool, a playground, additional recreational opportunities and parking.

Two new playgrounds were introduced this year, one at Rock Rimmon Park and the other at Sweeney Park.  Each of these playgrounds has new offerings for play and are very different than the traditional playgrounds in Manchester.

The disc golf scene continues to grow in Manchester with the addition of a second course.  The new course is called The Hollows South  and is more challenging than the original course renamed The Hollows North.

There are exciting projects currently in process. Parks continues to look to further the efforts of alternative means of transportation and connectivity through Manchester as well as to surrounding communities.  Three rails to trail projects are currently in process.  The Rockingham Trail will run from Mammoth Road to Lake Shore Road, the TAP Connector Project  will connect the River Walk to Downtown and the South Manchester Rail Trail and the extension of the South Manchester Rail Trail from Gold Street to points south.

A new synthetic surface will be installed at historic Gill Stadium allowing us to continue to provide the youth of Manchester a quality venue.  The project is planned for June-September when the schools are not in session.

We carry on in our mission to provide thousands of acres of quality green space throughout Manchester.  This is done through the hard work of our maintenance crews.  Our cemetery section is continuing their efforts to upgrade the antiquated irrigation system at Pine Grove Cemetery.  Pine Grove Cemetery offers a unique setting with a beautiful pond and island as well as many historic private mausoleums.

Recreation has also been a main emphasis for us in 2018.  We have provided offerings to young and old alike through our outdoor summer basketball league, Walk for Your Health, Fun In The Sun summer camp, tennis lessons, swim lessons, the Clem Lemire Hockey Tournament and support for our many youth leagues in the city.

It is with a heavy heart that we remember the passing of Mike Ryan, our Golf Professional at the Derryfield Country Club.  Mike was with us for 24 years.  He was a generous and kind man who is sorely missed by all who knew him.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mayor Joyce Craig and the Board of Mayor and Alderman for their continued support in our efforts to enhance the quality of life in Manchester.  It is through their belief  in our vision that we are able to move Manchester  forward.

We look ahead to 2019 with great anticipation and
excitement, and as always, we believe that
“The Sky’s the Limit!”

Happy Holidays!
Don Pinard
Chief of Parks, Recreation & Cemetery

Don Pinard


We have been looking for new trash container covers for our parks that meet a great number of criteria and it has been quite a challenge to find exactly the right fit.  The cost, the size in terms of height and weight, usability, placement within the park,  and maintenance of the material used to construct them were all factors that had to be  considered.  The new trash receptacle covers will be placed in Wagner Park in the spring.


Saturday Basketball continues at Beech Street School.  This is a non-competitive drop-in program; there are no teams or standings.  We run pickup games and other basketball shooting games.  You will be able to sign up at Beech St School on the first Saturday you attend.  Program hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are broken down into different age blocks as follows:
7-8 years old   9 – 10:30 a.m.
9-10 years old  10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
11-12 years old  1 – 2:30 p.m.
13-17  years old 2:30 – 4 p.m.
For more info email


With the passing of our golf pro Mike Ryan comes some inevitable changes at the DCC.  We are working slowly and methodically in hopes of a smooth transition for all.  Members and frequent golfers will be updated as soon as any decisions are made.  We are hoping our search for a new golf pro will conclude by sometime in March 2019, just in time for the opening drive.


The beginning of a new year means the Clem Lemire Hockey Tournament is just around the corner.  Clem Lemire was the long-time head of Parks, who laid the groundwork for the extensive parks and recreation   system we have in Manchester today.  Registrations forms for the tournament in his name will be sent to the schools just after school resumes in January.     Practices are held in the beginning of March and the tournament is in mid-March, just weeks before the ice is taken out.  We look forward to this event every year!


Manchester Recreation was mentioned by Patriots Alumni Pete Brock at The Game With The Greats held at Gillette Stadium on December 9th.  Several DPW  employees and football volunteers attended the game viewing where Manchester was recognized for doubling their attendance at the Patriots Alumni’s Football For You event held in May at Gill Stadium.  Next year’s goal … doubling attendance again!


With the warmer weather in late November and early December, we were able to install the playground in Sweeney Park before the end of the year.  This is such  a great addition for all the families in this area!  The pirate ship will be ‘christened’ with a grand re-opening celebration to be scheduled sometime in the spring of 2019.