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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Mossy Bank Park celebrates project's completion

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  • It was a breezy, cold morning, with the skies threatening rain, but the children playing Saturday at Mossy Bank Park didn’t seem to notice.
    They were too busy trying out the new playground equipment, eating doughnuts and participating in a scavenger hunt.
    “It’s awesome!,” Kendall Krisher, 6, of Bath, said of the new playground. “It’s a lot bigger and nicer than the other one.”
    The playground isn’t all that’s new. Saturday, park and village officials were joined by residents and visitors in celebrating the completion of a $415,000 project that also added fitness stations and new bathrooms.
    The ribbon was cut outside the new restroom building to kick off the day’s events.
    Addressing the crowd during the brief ceremony, Anne Keddy, chairman of the Mossy Bank Park Committee, recalled the “vision” and “hard work” needed to complete the project, which was conceived in 2011.
    Among the many Keddy thanked was the Bath Village Public Works Dept., which she said spent 3,800 hours tearing down the old restrooms and preparing the site for the new building, and installing the new playground and fitness equipment.
    Saturday, public works Superintendent Jeff Muller said he was “relieved” to see the project finally complete and thanked his crew for getting the job done while at the same time doing their other duties.
    “My guys worked half the winter up here,” he said.
    The day was an emotional one for the family of Ted Markham, one of the park’s founding fathers and for whom its nature center is named. Markham, who died this winter, would have loved the improvements, said his son, Brian Markham.
    “He’d be very proud,” Brian said.
    “And humbled,” said Margaret “Peg” Markham, Ted Markham’s wife.
    As she cut the ribbon, Margaret Markham was joined by Betty Langendorfer, wife of the late John Langendorfer, also a Mossy Bank Park founding father.
    Speaking before the ceremony, Betty Langendorfer recalled the park’s early days in the 1960s, before there was a playground, fitness stations or eagles’ nest.
    “We used to come up here every Sunday for years,” she said. “We’d bring sandwiches and trim the trees.”
    After the ribbon cutting, there was a luncheon, live music, presentations and a trailwalk to the eagles’ nest.
    Betty and Larry Ryan mingled with friends at the park they’ve been visiting for decades.
    “I remember when there was nothing up here,” Betty Ryan said as she admired the improvements before the ceremony. “We’ve had many family gatherings up here. Seeing this, people are going to have to put in a reservation a year a head of time to get the pavilion.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Bath residents Ruth and Charles Thomas looked on as “Mink,” Javal and Mario – three children visiting them from Lockport – ran around the playground.
    Tom and Cheryl Vis, of Branchport, came prepared for hiking on their second trip to Mossy Bank.
    Jake Lambert, 16, of Brighton, visiting with his grandparents Marcia and Hauck Heintz, gave one of the fitness stations a try.
    “I’m not sure if I’m doing this right,” he said, laughing, as he leaned forward to read the directions.
    Meanwhile, Keddy smiled as she took a break under the pavilion and surveyed the results of a lot of hard work by many.
    “I’m glad to see such a nice turnout and the families of the founding fathers here,” she said. “Now, we’re ready to go into summer.”
    Mossy Bank Park is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily May 1-Oct. 14. For more information or directions, visit www.mossybankpark.com.

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