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Springfield Lake bench program allows residents enjoy outdoors

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent
Springfield Township Woman's Club President Nancy Wright (left) and Vice President Nancy Rudy sit on the bench at Springfield Lake Park that was dedicated by the club.

SPRINGFIELD TWP. Looking for a great place to social distance, get some exercise or just some peace and quiet with a view? Springfield Lake Park provides fresh air, a view and just a place to kick back and think or let your mind go blank and take a breath.

For those reasons, a bench program came about to provide places to sit back and enjoy the wildlife, scenery or to sit and read a book. Benches were provided by members of the community.

The bench program was started several years ago by the former parks director who at the time was working closely with the “Friends of the Spartans Trail” group. In the past nine months, five new memorial benches have been placed along the lakefront.

Two benches were purchased in remembrance of deceased family members, one for a 14-year-old Springfield student that lost a battle to brain cancer and one for a deceased husband. One was purchased by a family to honor their living parents and stepparents to show their love and affections. A bench was purchased by a high school friend of a Springfield High School graduate from the 1960s whose mysterious disappearance 20-plus years ago made the national news but has yet to be solved. The gentleman donated the bench to honor his friend as a token of their friendship more than 50 years ago and hoped to keep her memory and fateful story alive.

The ladies of the Springfield Township Women’s Club (STWC) provided a bench for the park.

STWC President Nancy Wright president said they installed the bench to commemorate 50 years of serving the township – 1969 to 2019.

“It represents women's support to our community,” she said. “That support has been toward families in need, volunteering, church and local pantries, the Lakemore and Springfield Fire and Police departments, community events like Rock the Docks,  Christmas Lights at the Lake, the summer concert series and offering Springfield High School scholarships.”

The club has raised money through various activities with the biggest fund raiser being the Craft Show in November at Springfield High School. This year, after 38 years of having the Craft Show, its main source of income has been canceled due to COVID -19.

“This will have an impact to our donations to the community this year,” Wright said. “We normally have meetings September thru May, but the meetings may also be affected because of the pandemic. However, having already been established in the community for 50 years STWC will still be here and will come back even stronger in the future.”

“After the placement of the latest set of memorial benches and the regular park benches that were already placed by the township, we have decided to suspend the ’Memorial Bench’ program indefinitely due to space restrictions as we don’t want the lakefront to become overcrowded,” said Terry Robinson of the parks department. “Currently, we are exploring alternative programs to honor those that wish to memorialize a loved one. We will be working in conjunction with the EPA and the Springfield Lake Task Force to ensure any new programs we start (Memorial trees, plaques, stones, or bricks) would not encroach upon the healthy and natural drainage of the lakefront.

Benches can be found spread out over the lakefront area between the pirate ship playground and the PD, the other one sits in front of the fire department, not on the lake.

The lakefront is a place well used by people walking, fishing and relaxing. Take time to during COVID to get out of the house and enjoy the summer weather.