Macek said there is strong support for more parking and lighting in the park, and for renovating the public rest-rooms near the tennis courts.
“We talked about hiring a professional management company to book weddings and other events at the castle,” Macek said, “not only to run those events, but also to market the castle better to get more private events there. That’s another way to generate money that can be used to restore and maintain the park.”
The Winnekenni Foundation, which focuses on the castle, lacks an endowment fund and badly needs benefactors, Sullivan said. To pay for basic upkeep of the park, the foundation relies on private donations, cultural council grants for specific community programs and the generosity of the city in providing manpower for activities such as collecting trash and trimming trees and brush.
Macek said his committee will meet one more time before going back to the full council with specific recommendations.
Other more creative ideas in Sullivan’s plan include installing racquetball, badminton, volleyball and bocce ball courts near Plug Pond, also known as Lake Saltonstall. Sullivan’s plan would improve the playground area near the park entrance and possibly add a water spray park there. His plan suggests moving a popular winter sledding hill near the entrance away from the road that winds from the bottom of the property to the castle high above.
The plan starts with addressing a variety of basic maintenance issues at the entrance, including repointing the 1873 castle’s piers that frame the entrance to the park and trimming the heavy and mangled brush that blocks views of the property from people driving by on Route 110.
The plan would thin the forest around the castle so the structure can once again be seen by people driving along nearby Route 110, and so Kenoza Lake’s sprawling expanse can be seen from the winding road that leads to and from the castle.