Harrybrooke introduces new faces at park

Harrybrooke Park in New Milford has welcomed two new staff members.

The new staff, caregiver Craig Reardon and office manager/assistant event coordinator Arielle Barker, began earlier this year.

Reardon replaces caregiver and groundskeeper Jim Bannan who retired in February from his duties at the park after more than 10 years.

He moved to New York to spend more time with his family.

Arielle Barker has assumed the role of a new position, full-time office manager/assistant event coordinator.

Barker will assume the responsibilities previously handled by part-time wedding coordinator and assistant event planner Lindsey Thomas, who was impactful during her tenure at the park, as well as additional duties.

Thomas moved on to a new venue in New York, where she can focus full time on weddings and expanding a new business.

Part-time bookkeeper Gail Dawson has also stepped down after more than six years. She moved into a new position with her other job.

“As a non-profit with a small staff, we must always be careful with expenses but understand that the park is a part of the community,” Buckbee said. “It was therefore very important to fill positions with people who are a part of all that we do and represent in New Milford.”

“The community here is very personable and friendly,” Buckbee explained. “The park is a strong part of New Milford’s nostalgia and it’s our job to protect this legacy left by the Hardens in 1965. We wanted to find people who fit the feel of the park and boy did we get lucky.”

Reardon is carpenter and a local youth coach in New Milford.

Starting work before his start date, Reardon will take on the projects and the history of the park.

From the Murphys, who were the original caregivers for 30 years, to current day, there have been very few caregivers of the park.

Barker began her job in February and immediately dove into every aspect, according to Buckbee.

Barker is a fourth-generation native of New Milford and her family is active throughout the community.

She grew up visiting the park and continues this tradition with her young son.

Harrybrooke Park provides a safe place for families and individuals alike to walk, run, ride a bike or simply sit and take in all that nature has to offer. Its mission is to serve the greater New Milford area communities at no cost to the town or its taxpayers.

Harrybrooke Park in New Milford is Harrybrooke Park and Harden House Museum, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and does not receive funding from the town, state or federal governments.

For more information about the park or to volunteer, contact Barker at 860-799-6520 or email at Harrybrookepark14@gmail.com.