This article appeared in the City of Dayton Annual Report for 1943
Army Uses Eastwood Park
by S. E. Seitner
Superintendent of Parks
The rapid growth of both the civilian and the army personnel sections at Wright Field early in 1943, and the lack of recreational facilities at the field, presented quite a problem of morale to those in charge at the field. The problem of employing the leisure time of its employes profitably and happily became one of major importance. The problem was further complicated by the fact that most of the new workers are migrants.
The first step toward the solution of the problem was the reorganization of the Wright Field Welfare Association. The next step was the publication of an informative booklet on where leisure time activities might be found in and around Dayton, and all the information pertinent to them. The need for someone to coordinate the recreational activities was clearly evidenced and in the spring the selection of a recreation director was made. With summer just around the corner, it was necessary to secure a location of suitable size where many outdoor activities could be conducted and which would be equipped to handle the varied interests of field employes.
After investigation of the facilities available in and around Dayton, it was decided that Eastwood Park, belonging to the City of Dayton, embodied most of the attractive features for which they were searching. It was located most advantageously for the greater part of the field workers, since it was on their route to and from work. It was decided to approach the City of Dayton with a view toward acquiring the park facilities for recreational purposes. A series of conferences with City officials resulted in the seasonal reservation of the facilities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week.
To the park’s existing facilities were added badminton, volley ball and horseshoe courts. The softball field was reconditioned and put in good playing condition. The swimming pool, which had not been used for swimming for several years was placed at the disposal of those who were interested in Bait Casting. Boating was available to all participants. All picnic shelters were reserved to employes on the three nights names and many departmental, group, and family picnics were enjoyed.
At no time was the park restricted to the sole use of Wright Field employes. It was open at all times for the enjoyment of all the people of Dayton, which provided the Field employes an opportunity to become acquainted with others person not employed at the Field.