DANVERS – For Brian Norwood, 25, working at the Endicott Park was his dream job.
"I grew up coming to this park," said Norwood. "I got this job right of college and it was kind of like a dream come true."
Now in his third year as a part-time park ranger, the Salem resident has seen many visitors enjoy the park's features such as the Townley Family Children's Barn.
"I think it is awesome that parents bring their kids here to look at the animals and observe," said Norwood, sitting directly in front of the tall, red barn.
A building loved by many employees and park-goers, the Children's Barn is showing its age inside and out and is in need of repairs.
The Friends of Endicott Park, a charitable organization that strives to preserve the history and provide educational experiences at the park, is on a mission to restore the Townley Family Children's Barn through raising funds and providing assistance to the project.
"The main thing we have to take care of is the structures before we worry about anything inside," said Friends of Endicott Park Vice President Lois Mckenzie.
The entire renovation project has an estimated cost of $150,000. The list of needed renovations is long and includes replacing windows and doors, replacing steps from the barn with a ramp for older animals and repairing a rotted roof. Add to that covering drains in the barn with safety grates, bringing public ramps up to code, expanding the viewing deck, providing more space for spectators, rebuilding hen boxes, and a new paint job.
For Mckenzie, all of these renovations are in pursuit of bringing continued education and experiences to those that enter.
"The park gives the kids and adults alike an appreciation," said Mckenzie. "It makes people think a lot about the past."
Built in the 1900s, the Children's Barn was a part of William C. Endicott's "gentlemen's farm" that housed pigs, goats, and smaller animals and is now only one of three buildings left on the farm.
The Children's Barn is home to the park's horse, pony, cow, goat, two sheep, two pigs, bunnies, ducks, hens and roosters.
Coming all the way from Melrose to take family photos at the Park, sisters Aria, 5, and Caroline, 9, both have their favorite barn animals.
Aria likes the ducks.
Caroline likes the cows.
"The biggest thing I see (Endicott) Park being is a space that people can go and decompress, go back to nature and walk around," said Mckenzie.
There is no set timeline for the completion of the Children's Barn renovations will come as funds are raised. Mckenzie emphasized that as the group raises money, it will decide which repairs are priorities.
Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-338-2527 or email@example.com.