In my last column, I mentioned that there would be a special announcement at the grand opening for the summer season at the Brighton Farmers Market. State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, R-56th Dist., was on hand for the traditional vine cutting, and following the vine cutting he announced that he had obtained $500,000 in new grant funding for the Town of Brighton to begin work on Phase 1 of the project, a new home for the Winter Farmers Market, using and extending existing agricultural buildings at Buckland Park.

On June 5 at the Farmers Market, the Town will hold a community charrette to take comments or preliminary ideas for that new Market location at Buckland Park. Town staff will be on hand, as will representatives of the Brighton Farmers Market. The goal is to give the Market a home of its own, taking advantage of the agricultural heritage of Buckland Park land and the existing agricultural buildings on the site. Another goal is to expand the capacity of the Winter Market, and to consider, in future phases, other improvements, such as a year around Market home, seating areas for Market patrons, a small bandstand for local community concerts and events and other small scale improvements related to the Market.

Of course, the proposed Market space is just one part of Buckland Park. Already, Buckland Park is home to the our newest park lodge, baseball, softball and rectangular playing fields, as well as playgrounds for active recreation and trails for passive recreation. It is also home to the historic Buckland House, the oldest standing house made from Brighton bricks; the Brighton Veterans’ Memorial, with its unique rugged but reverent setting; and the Brighton Community Garden, where 100 families participate.

As part of our ongoing Comprehensive Plan update, we will be holding our third public information meeting on the Comprehensive Plan update focused on developing plans for the remainder of Buckland Park from 7 to 9 p.m. June 13 at Brighton Town Hall. Come and review preliminary plans including the potential Farmers Market site, as well as ideas that have already been generated by community and staff participants in the planning process, such as a future community center site and additional undeveloped habitat. Town staff, our consultants and my colleagues on the Town Board and I will be there to gather your ideas for the future of Buckland Park and your feedback on ideas that have already been developed. Our goal is to efficiently identify community needs that can be met on the remaining space at Buckland Park and how to do so in a way that ties into our active transportation, sustainability and smart growth goals.

We look forward to your ideas.