Honoring the WWII Veterans of the 12th Ward

Bayhill Park in the early 2000s

Bayhill Park in the early 2000s

Have you heard of Bayhill Park in Sheridan Hollow? During World War II, each of the city of Albany’s 19 wards erected a monument and/or memorial honor roll as a tribute to the ward residents’ military service during the war. At the corner of Sheridan Avenue and Dove Street, the 12th Ward — Sheridan Hollow —dedicated the neighborhood’s Honor Roll in Bayhill Park on July 4, 1943. The original memorial had more than 500 names and over 3,000 people attended the dedication event and parade.

in tribute.jpg

By the 1990s, the names were not longer legible and the park was rededicated. In 2012, the same year one of the neighborhood’s blocks was featured on Jeopardy! as the picture for urban blight, veterans and other community members again repaired the memorial, but by then, the park’s overgrowth and distance from the sidewalk had made it an ideal location for illegal activities. To neighbors, the memorial no longer reflected the respect and gratitude of the neighborhood toward its WWII veterans.

When we partnered with Housing Visions, the City of Albany, The Charles L. Touhey Foundation others to build new, mixed-use buildings along Sheridan Avenue, the city permitted the park to be demolished. When the several mature trees were uprooted, the neighborhood not only became concerned about stormwater, since the neighborhood is geologically a ravine, but was also concerned about how it could once again honor its WWII veterans.

We agreed to steward land for the new 12th Ward WWII Veterans Memorial Park directly across the street, at the corner of Sheridan Avenue and Dove Street. After struggling for years to find funding and support for the park, we have come up with a creative, grass-roots solution in partnership with the the Community Development Alliance, the Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association and community members.

This summer, we plan to return to the neighborhood a greenspace for quiet, peaceful reflection and remembrance of the 12th Ward WWII veterans. Efforts are underway to construct a simple memorial, landscaping and flag.

But your help is needed to finish the rest of the park.

The site for the new memorial park, which needs your help.

The site for the new memorial park, which needs your help.

After our priority of honoring the neighborhood WWII veterans—and with your help—we’ll be constructing a rain garden on the rest of the park. Rain gardens help the land slowly absorb water over time to prevent runoff and flooding. This helps protect property from flooding and keeps pollutants from running into the Hudson River. And when your neighborhood is technically a ravine, stormwater is a huge concern.

With your direct support, the park will be able to have educational signage so children, residents and visitors can learn about rain gardens and the history of our neighborhood. The new 12th Ward WWII Veterans Memorial Park and rain garden borders the Sheridan Hollow spray park, which sits directly at the state workers’ parking lot stairs. That’s a lot of people walking through during the week!

We’re hoping you can help us give residents and visitors more to love about Sheridan Hollow.

Donate on Facebook now

If you live, work, play or park in Sheridan Hollow, let us know your thoughts on our plans! Email us at info@habitatcd.org or stop by 207 Sheridan Ave!

Do you have a business that may be able to help? Contact Christine at christine@habitatcd.org