The Stanley Park of Westfield was established in 1949, the generous gift of Frank Stanley Beveridge, founder of Stanley Home Products. Frank Stanley Beveridge believed that Stanley Park should be preserved as a refuge of physical and spiritual beauty, where families and individuals could enjoy gardens, trails, music, educational and cultural activities in secure and peaceful surroundings.
Originally situated on 25 acres on upper Western Avenue, at that time the outskirts of Westfield, the Park today encompasses almost 300 acres and includes formal gardens, a landmark carillon tower, pavilions, playing fields, a colonial-era village, an ADA-compliant children’s playground, a 200-acre wildlife sanctuary and a recently completed accessible trail through the Asian Garden which links the Park for ALL to enjoy. The 200 acre wildlife sanctuary has been GPS mapped by Westfield State University and trail markers and trail brochures now make that area more easily navigable.
Stanley Park accommodates more than 400,000 visitors annually, including a diverse multi-generational, socio-economic, ethnic and special needs population who enjoy programming, trails, gardens, concerts, and events in a safe environment. Activities offered by the Park have become staples in the lives of the people in the greater Pioneer Valley.
Stanley Park has always been host to civic events and cultural offerings and, in recent years, efforts to broaden, deepen and diversify community participation has seen the introduction of a full range of arts, educational and recreational programming, either sponsored by the Park alone or in collaboration with other organizations. Particularly notable are the Sunday Night Concerts, Garden and Nature Workshops, the popular Friday Mornings for Children Series and Zoo on the Go.
The Sunday Night Concerts afford the opportunity for thousands to attend quality, live musical performances, bringing together diverse audiences that span all ages while the Friday Mornings for Children Series offers eleven spectacular programs including Zoo on the Go visits from the staff and animals from Forest Park of Springfield. Children’s summer programming promises to ignite the imagination, creativity, and musical spirit of our children through expressive activities and performances. A full array of children’s activities includes original classic storytelling, music and dance, puppets, props and magic. The children have the opportunity to interact and become part of the shows. Faithful to our founder’s vision, Stanley Park is open to all, free of charge.
After sixty years of public use and enjoyment, Stanley Park has recently been brought an enormous challenge. The Beveridge Pavilion home to our Sunday Night Concerts, Friday Mornings for Children Series, and Zoo on the Go has suffered irreparable structure damage due to deterioration of the natural wood and tough weather. The structural damage that the pavilion suffered determined that it had reached the end of its usable life and it was demolished in the spring of 2011.
We looked forward. We asked how the future could build on the foundations of the past. After much planning we are pleased to present a new concept for a new Beveridge Pavilion.
The new pavilion will host cultural performances, exhibits and community events. We will continue to feature Sunday Night Concerts and Friday Mornings for Children and other family programs.
Our pavilion project will provide a center for businesses, non –profits and individuals to fully enjoy the resources of this natural haven. Our hope is that you will join us in making this dream a reality. Please consider how you can help secure the future of a public space that has become the principal community center in the Pioneer Valley.
With your support we will continue to fulfill our mission and continue to offer quality programs all free of charge, rebuild a pavilion, and help us continue to fulfill our mission that Stanley Park will be preserved as a refuge of physical and spiritual beauty, where families and individuals could enjoy gardens, trails, music, educational and cultural activities in secure and peaceful surroundings.