Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hail to the Navy, volunteers rehab benches in Park

Navy volunteers renovate park benches
Personnel from Kesselring site in Milton repair Depression-era seats for Spa park lawn

By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Thursday, July 27, 2006
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- U.S Navy volunteers resurrected some Saratoga Spa State Park history, reaching into the park's boneyard to pluck out some forgotten infrastructure.
Advertisement -->
= 11)
= 11)
The concrete benches that the Works Progress Administration built during the Great Depression are back on the park's great lawn.
"All we're trying to do is show the public the community participation of the Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Prusinowski.
Prusinowski led a team of about 20 sailors from the nuclear propulsion training unit at the Kenneth A. Kesselring Site in West Milton to the park last week. About 1,200 naval personnel are stationed at the site. They live throughout Saratoga County.
"The old concrete ends are coming back from the boneyard," Prusinowski said.
The sailors took the concrete bench ends from the boneyard, as the park's maintenance yard is nicknamed.
First Class Machinist Mate Dan Matherly took charge of getting the wood for the benches and fitting them together with the concrete end pieces. The benches weigh about 225 pounds each.
Matherly drove to Schroon Lake to get the lumber. It's all about getting the right pieces, he said.
"We're doing a bench every 20 minutes. We're hitting full stride," Matherly said.
The team replaced 20 benches. They were placed on the great lawn around the park's reflecting pool and the nearby open area.
"It's a wonderful piece of community service. We're very appreciative of it," said Warren Holliday, the Saratoga-Capital District Region director for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"They use the park, they saw the need. They responded to it through a good volunteer effort," Holliday said.
Prusinowski noticed the park's need for new benches while working out at the park as a member of the Saratoga Stryders running club. The club donated money for supplies, the Navy donated the skills and staff and the park provided the bench parts to pull the project together.
"I'm in the park every day," Prusinowski said. As a result, the lieutenant commander knows that many people in the county are unaware that the Navy has a base in the area where sailors are trained to run nuclear ships and submarines.
"The Navy cares about Saratoga," Prusinowski said. "We're here and we want to give back to the community."
Kenneth C. Crowe II can be reached at 581-8438 or by e-mail at

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

No comments: