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(Wheatfield Lions Club photos)
(Wheatfield Lions Club photos)

Wheatfield Lions christen new fishing deck & pond


Tue, Jun 18th 2024 07:00 am

Materials Provided by Lions Justin J.M. Higner and Walter Garrow

On Saturday, the Wheatfield Lions Club officially dedicated the new fishing deck and improvements to the pond at our Five Senses Park, and accessible trails made possible with the efforts of many people both within our organization – but also thanks to Niagara Greenway funds. Dedicated to past club President Lion Walter Garrow, this amazing project was created, promoted and chaired by Lion Walt with great care and attention.

The need for this development came from Chairman Garrow. Then, Past President Lion Bill Ross suggested to apply to the Greenway and Niagara County. He became the main proponent for this. Garrow wrote the grant, did the soliciting presentations and orchestrated the contractors.

The committee expanded to also include Tom Kontak (vice chairman) and Art Kroening. A great team – and it needed all to accomplish this attractive result.

This project was also greatly supported by Past President Chris Stanz, past Treasurer Lion Robert B. Cliffe, Boy Scouts Troop 833, and headed by club President Lion Roberta O'Toole. Included as supporters and contributors on Saturday were Lions Nancy Rosie, Rita Byrwa Kontak, Zachary Carr, Mike Wells and Justin J. M. Higner.

The park has hosted many community events since the club’s founding in 1973. This has included such activities as the annual picnic for the blind. With our service to blind and those with various disabilities, we were aware that much of our grounds were not accessible.

The Wheatfield Lions worked through the Niagara Greenway Commission, Niagara County Legislature and New York Power Authority to obtain a grant for the improvements.

The plan included paved trails throughout the park. The trails are planned to be wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other. Future plans will include various sensory stations for touch and smell experiences. These trails connect to the beautiful pond and the newly installed overhang deck. The pond has recently been stocked to allow blind and those in wheelchairs to try their luck in fishing. In the pond is a new spray fountain to add to the sensory experiences.

Entertaining through the dedication were two young fishermen. They kept catching fish! Also of note, those with wheel chairs were able to use the new trails and pond deck.

Dignitaries participating in the ribbon-cutting included Assemblyman Angelo Morinello and the Hon. Angela Stamm-Phillips. Morinello also served as guest speaker.

All fish caught were required to be safely returned to the pond. Afterward, refreshments including water, pop, coffee, pizza/wings and a special cake was served for all.

The theme of the Lion's Club is "We Serve." Our main service areas include: blind, hearing, environment, hunger, pediatric cancer, natural disasters and humanitarian needs. In Wheatfield, we also have our medical loan closet. From that closet, we provide hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, bathtub benches/chairs, canes, etc.

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