On Aug. 6, the Berkshire Recreation Committee (BRC), and following the announcement of the completion of the Berkshire Creekside Park walkway, held a dedication, as well as a bonfire, food, and other activities. The Berkshire Fire Company and Highway Department also participated, both with vehicles on display for participants to view.
According to one of the organizers, George Lohmann, there were approximately 75 guests in attendance. He also noted that the park pavilion was named in honor of Skip Hartwig and Fraser Williams, both members of the BRC and big contributors toward progress in the town. Bob and Brian Card, a father and son duo, provided music for the event.
The Floyd Hooker Foundation, the Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation, the Community Foundation of South Central New York, and Margaret and Harriet Patch provided funding for this final walkway section. Preparation for the paving was completed by the Berkshire Highway Department and the BRC.
George Lohmann, along with his wife Nancy, chairs the Berkshire Recreation Committee.
As they introduced guests, they stated, “Nancy and I have definitely not led this effort alone. I would like to acknowledge the other members of the BRC. Please help me recognize Denny Dyer, Skip Hartwig, Noah Hendrick, Jim Lacey, Penny Magnus, Fran Miller, and Fraser Williams. We would also like to acknowledge that the members of the Town Board that have been very supportive of our efforts, and the Highway Department has shown its support with a lot of labor.”
The work, according to Lohmann, actually began in about 2000 when then Town Supervisor, Skip Hartwig, convinced the Board to purchase the five-acre property.
In 2016, Nancy and George approached the Board with two goals – a playground for the children of Berkshire and a walkway for everyone. They heard the words, “How would you like to form a committee?” Before long they had a group of Cornell graduate students checking things out and devising a long-range plan.
With two large grants, the playground was constructed in George M. Smith Park in 2018. Then, with a combination of six grants and large donations from individuals, the pavilion was constructed in 2020; the south and central walkway sections went it in 2021, and the final north section this past June.
There’s plenty more to do, but the next goal, according to Lohmann, is installing the park benches. Later this month they hope to have the first one, and there’s a signup sheet in the pavilion for those who are interested in helping with future work sessions.
They would especially like to thank Maurice Stoughton for donating the hanging baskets that were raffled off on Aug. 6.
Lohmann added, “This Park belongs to everyone in the town. We hope you will use it and help us take care of it.”
(George Lohmann contributed to this story)