New Foun­tain Park benches ded­i­cated

Kent County News - - NEWS - By PETER HECK pheck@thekent­coun­

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The Ch­ester­town Gar­den Club has do­nated new metal benches to Foun­tain Park.

At a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony Satur­day af­ter­noon, Mayor Chris Cerino praised the gar­den club mem­bers for the work they do to main­tain the park and beau­tify the whole down­town area.

About 50 res­i­dents were on hand to see the 16 new benches and par­take of snacks and bev­er­ages sup­plied by the gar­den club. Among them were coun­cil mem­bers Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper and Marty Stet­son and Town Man­ager Bill Inger­soll.

Cerino said that when he learned the new benches would cost $15,000, he thought the project was “re­ally am­bi­tious.” But the whole set — which in­cludes 10 back­less benches out­lin­ing the brick cir­cle around the foun­tain — was paid for by do­na­tions to the gar­den club, he said. He noted the benches’ “re­fined Vic­to­rian el­e­gance” and their stur­di­ness. “They’ll be here 30 years,” he said.

The old wooden benches, sev­eral of which were dec­o­rated by lo­cal stu­dents, are sched­uled to be in­stalled at the Ajax play­ground off Cross Street and in Wash­ing­ton Park, Inger­soll said at a town coun­cil meet­ing a few weeks ago.

Cerino said the town is also work­ing to re­store the grass in the south­west quad­rant of the park, where it is show­ing signs of heavy use. He said the town will be hir­ing a groundskeep­ing com­pany to aer­ate and ir­ri­gate the turf.

Beryl Kemp, the gar­den club pres­i­dent, thanked Inger­soll and the com­mit­tee that over­saw the bench project: Barb Mac­Beth, Karen O’Con­nor and Michele Sch­weikle.

Mac­Beth spoke, rec­og­niz­ing sev­eral of those who con­trib­uted to the club’s vi­sion for the park. In ad­di­tion to the town coun­cil and staff, they in­cluded Bill Nut­tle, whose 1978 draw­ings were the ba­sis for land­scape ar­chi­tect Miles Barnard’s rec­om­men­da­tions for the re­fur­bish­ing of the park, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of new flower beds to de­fine the en­trances and walk­ways. A do­na­tion from the Ch­ester­town Lions Club paid for the widen­ing of the brick side­walk on the High Street side of the park. And Ralph Dowling of The Peo­ples Bank do­nated tulip bulbs — and helped plant them on a cold Novem­ber day.

Donors, in ad­di­tion to the gar­den club it­self, were club mem­bers Kemp, Mary Anne SheaReynolds, Diane Kal­ter and her fam­ily, He­len Guas­tavino and her fam­ily, Holly Bram­ble and fam­ily, and Mac­Beth and her brother Ben. Oth­ers in­cluded Charles Lerner and Jan Bran­don.

Sev­eral of the donors were present to en­joy the benches they had spon­sored. Each bench bears a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque, of­ten with the name of a loved one the donor wished to re­mem­ber.

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