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Stanley Park is a privately owned 300-acre (1.2 km2) park, including an arboretum and botanical garden, located in Westfield, Massachusetts. It is open to the public daily without charge from May to November.
The park was established in 1945 by the philanthropist Frank Stanley Beveridge (1879–1956). It includes a number of gardens, listed below, as well as a playground, soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic area, wildlife sanctuary, colonial pond, covered bridge, and blacksmith shop.
Stanley Park is located on Western Avenue in the suburban town of Westfield, Massachusetts. It was founded by its benefactor Frank Stanley Beveridge in 1949. The park began on a 25-acre (100,000 m2) plot, but now spans 300 acres (1.2 km2) with multiple gardens, trails, and playing fields. It is only a short walking distance from Westfield State College, which is located on the same street.
Frank Stanley Beveridge was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1879, and he moved to western Massachusetts in 1900 to attend Mount Hermon School in Northfield. After graduating, he travelled to New York where he married and began a family. At this time, Beveridge was very successful in his work and began Stanley Home Products in Westfield, MA. The company is known today as Stanhome, Inc. He founded the Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation in 1947, to both perform charitable works and to further his legacy. He founded Stanley Park in 1949, on 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land at 400 Western Ave, Westfield. After his death in 1956, the foundation still honors his contributions to the community.
Stanley Park’s hours of operation are from 7:00 am until nightfall everyday. It is open beginning on the first Saturday in May, and closes for the season on the last Sunday in November. The park is open to the public and does not charge for admission.
Stanley Park features multiple natural walking trails, throughout the woods and along the Little River, as well as leading to a variety of ponds, gardens, and wildlife sanctuary. Along with experiencing nature, Stanley Park features great opportunities to learn about the area’s history, through operating mills, a meetinghouse, blacksmith shop, Asian teahouse, and dinosaur tracks. Stanley Park is also an excellent choice for recreation, with many playing fields, a playground, and pavilions ideal for picnics.
Walking tours of the park and its attractions are available from June through August on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am – 10:00 am. Tours begin at the Carillon Tower.
Stanley Park holds annual Carillon concerts every first and third Sunday each month. These concerts take place from May to November; beginning and 3:00 pm and ending at 4:00 pm.
Stanley Park celebrates a Slavic practice of lighting lanterns and dancing in the eastern European tradition. Children will also don Polish dress and the Grammy-winning Jimmy Sturr and Orchestra will play. This year’s event will take place on July 30, 2010, beginning at 6:00 pm and ending at 9:00 pm in the Beveridge Pavilion.
Stanley Park will host Linda Varone, winner of Best of Boston for Feng Shui in 2007 for a workshop. She will instruct participants of how to maximize Chi, or “breath of life,” in their own landscaping. This event will begin at 10:00 am and end at 11:30 am on June 19, 2010.
Stanley Park offers various children’s activities during the summer on Friday mornings. These include story telling, skits, and puppets. Held every Friday from June 16 to August 20, 2010, from 10 am to 11 am.
Stanley Park hosts a travelling zoo on three occasions during the summer. Children may pet and ask zookeepers questions about the animals during the event. The dates are June 23, July 21, and August 18, 2010, beginning at 12 pm and ending at 1 pm.
Stanley park will hold its Second Annual Wheel Walk to promote accessibility at the park. Food and games will be provided. The event is on May 15, 2010; registration begins at 9:00 am and the walk will go from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.