Hard work and dedication keep Hatfield Park looking its best
October 15, 2021
Tucked away on a hill beyond the sunny south playground at Hatfield Park is a picturesque area surrounded by trees. Reached by steep stone steps, the clearing is paved with stones. Seating made of the same native stone is arranged around the edges. In the center is a circular area that old timers call the goldfish pond.
Joe Chance of Alva recently spent some time cleaning up the area, which had become overgrown with weeds. The goldfish pond has been cleared with flowers planted. Dirt carried there by rain runoff has been cleaned out. While the leaves still fall on the paving, it's much easier to navigate the steps to enjoy the shady nook.
Chance expended even more effort at each end of the steps. On the west edge of the Hatfield south playground is a ditch to handle rain that runs down the hillside. The ditch had become so filled in that heavy rain ended up flooding the area, making it inaccessible. Using a shovel and digging by hand, Chance deepened the ditch along the foot of the hill. Now rain is channeled north into the park drainage system.
At the top of the steps which end at the roadway leading from Flynn Street, there's another drainage area that was clogged. Chance dug out the filled-in area so runoff goes down the hill instead of onto the steps. Hopefully this will keep dirt and mud away from the steps and keep rain from washing out the supporting hillside under the walkway.
Just across the road at the top is the Hatfield Park pyramid. The stone and mortar structure commemorates the donation of the land by W. F. Hatfield to the city. Unfortunately, time and weather have taken a toll. Several stones have loosened and fallen from the pyramid and retaining walls. Chance said he's gathered the stones and plans to tuck-point them back into place. He also plans to fill in the cracks that have appeared.
The pyramid is surrounded by flower beds and a pathway, reached by more steps. Chance said there were probably 100 small trees that had taken root in the dirt along with many weeds. With his wife's help, Chance cleared a truckload of debris from around the monument. They planted some flowers in the beds among the remaining bushes. In the future, Chance plans to get some of the mulch at the city transfer site to spread along the beds and pathways.
With a shovel, a lot of hard work and plenty of dedication, Chance volunteers his time to keep Hatfield Park looking its best. He said his reward is seeing the enjoyment of families spending time there.