Re-Creating Recreation, Tarrytown Department Expands Activities

Early this Fall, Tarrytown residents received the latest edition of the Parks & Recreation Department Schedule of Activities and Events for Fall and Winter.


The Tarrytown Recreation Department

It is the work of Joe Arduino, Recreation Supervisor for the Village, and Senior Recreation leader, Ralph Nicoletti, plus their staff, and is sent twice a year to some 5400 home addresses. Arduino has been at the helm of the Department since 2002, following 18 years in the Town of Greenburgh’s Recreation Department. In a recent interview, Arduino explained that in addition to bringing increased focus to the Department’s activities, he is also aiming at the various businesses and organizations in the Village to likewise become involved with both new and existing recreational programs as sponsors or financial supporters.

The Recreation Department, today, has oversight of four major areas of community activity. The first includes all Village parades, the expanding Tarrytown 3rd Fridays, the current Halloween activities of "Pumpkin Hunt," "Window Painting" and "Scarecrow Making." October 28 marked the Annual Halloween Parade and November 12 featured the Tarrytown Pilgrim Four-Mile Run. Since Arduino has taken over Recreation, he has been adding new events, including the imaginative new "Santa’s Mail Box" involving letter writing to (and from) Santa Claus each Christmas season. They have added a "Tag Sale" and have facilitated the introduction of Ginzburg Development’s "Hudson River Ferry Go Round" to the agenda.

In a second area, Arduino’s Department oversees most of the Village’s adult activities, with a heavy emphasis on athletic events and competition. For example, tennis instruction is available from Jack Burke, formerly a Physical Education instructor at Washington Irving and Tappan Hill for 30 years. Basketball and "One Pitch Softball" each have a roster of scheduled games. At the Fitness Center in the Tarrytown Recreational Office building, a "Pilates" (exercise for the abdomen) course is available, as is Yoga at the Senior Center. There is even a defensive auto-driving course that can often lower one’s insurance costs.

Third, the Recreation Department has become totally involved with community youth through Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, and Tennis programs. For the really young, there is a chess class, a "Kiddie Korner" for children with a parent or caregiver, plus an "Itsy Bitsy" class for new moms. There is even a "Babysitting" course that teaches all necessary emergency procedures. Then there is winter ice-skating on the Tarrytown Lakes with some facts that few know. The ice at all times must be at least 4 1/2 inches thick in mid-lake, and that is achieved through at least 20 days and nights of average temperatures of 20 degrees. The ice is also thinner near the edge of the lake and mid-ice is checked twice a day by a Village employee!

The fourth and final area of responsibility is the Village Senior Club that is made up of some 295 Senior citizens. While the Club has its own President, much of the Senior Center management itself is in the hands of Arduino and Nicoletti. Various activities such as, bingo, language, card games, movies and book club are among the Senior activities available. A "Senior Canteen" complete with guest speakers operates each Thursday at the Neighborhood House, and a Nutrition Program for those in need is sponsored by the Recreation Department and the Town of Greenburgh. Finally, a complete list of social events and trips is offered to Village seniors as is the availability of a senior van.

Arduino and Nicoletti very often oversee many of these 35-40 annual programs themselves, but in a substantial number of cases they hire outside "instructors" who have a skill in that particular program and are paid by the Village according to the hours invested. Arduino graduated from Springfield College in 1982 with a Degree in Community Recreation, and Nicoletti graduated from Pace University in 1974. Assisting them each day is Secretary Diane Spies, along with the Park Maintenance crew, which keeps Tarrytown’s park areas in first class condition. The crew includes Park Foreman Dave Downing along with Ed Greene and Ed McClain. Arduino and Nicoletti welcome all new citizens to join in the many programs available. The key numbers are 631-8389/8347.
E-mail is ttrec@

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About the Author: Arnold Thiesfeldt