Mary Beth Ladenheim Huwe is chairman of the Fincastle Big Spring Park committee. The spacious park has a gazebo, a walking bridge and unfortunately has lost two trees in recent years. The BSP committee has elected to use the willow tree that fell and had to be removed this fall. A community bonfire will be held on Dec. 22, snow date Dec. 29. “We want to spread awareness of the park and its multiple uses.”
The park is located on Back Street next to Fincastle Presbyterian Church and the part of the original land grant of King George II to Israel Christian in the 18th century. A spring is located at the park and one of the future plans is to open up the spring to be more visual.
Fincastle during the late 18th and 19th centuries had visitors from all over the colonies and states that followed, in search of waters from the “curative” spring.
Today, however the vision is to return the community to the park. “We may have bands, music and other events and it is sort of a natural ampitheater,” pointed out Fincastle town manager Dave Tickner. “We even have a walking pathway design from Engineering Concepts,” he said. A local Eagle Scout, Trent Smith built a tricorner kiosk for the BSP. It will include information about the park, a donor wall and a message board for residents.
Big Spring Garden Club decorated the area fencing, gazebo and walking bridge for Christmas.
The BSP committee came up with some standard plans in September and presented them to Town Council:
Park purpose: The function of the park is for passive recreation, reflection, picnicking, and as a green space. This is not a park for “play equipment,’ and modifications will keep and restore the space’s natural state.
Park plan: The overall plan the committee proposes includes repairing or removing certain decaying or deteriorating structures, opening part of the spring itself for viewing and touching, and adding habitat appropriate plantings.
The first priorities include: determining tree planting location, removing dead willow tree, choosing habitat appropriate plantings, opening the spring, working on entryway.
• Entryway: Similar in design to the Engineering Concepts plan, but with the turnstile intact if possible. The group proposes that the turnstile be decorative, with plenty of room to get around it with a stroller.
• Trees: To line edges of park, but not block visibility. Willow needs to come down.
• Spring: Open a small area into a shallow pond for visitors to be able to splash around in. Pipe over into current “drainage ditch.”
• Plantings: Add color and cheerfulness to park with wetland appropriate plantings. Group will do research.
Other plans include:
• Remove: Street light/power line if possible, move monument benches
• Fix: trim trees, gazebo steps, clean mold off gazebo, paint fence (?), wooden bench
Funding: Solicit donations of goods and capital, volunteers, fundraising events.
Members of the committe are: Emily Babish, Ed Bordett, Lynne Burton (alt), Peggy Davis, Mary Beth Huwe, Valerie Lucas.
Here is the invitation to the community for the bonfire:
Big Spring Park Bonfire Sunday, December 22, 2013 snow date Dec. 29
5:30 – 7 pm
• See plans for the park.
• Free marshmallows for roasting.
• Bake sale (proceeds to park projects.)
• All ages welcome.
Please bring a comfy chair or blanket for sitting.
For more information or to help, contact: Emily Babish, firstname.lastname@example.org (473-1731) Mary Beth Huwe, email@example.com (819-3224)