08-03-2017 Bear Cave restoration at Hays Park is community outreach project; oloma Watervliet Area C

Bear Cave restoration at Hays Park is community outreach project

By Michael Uskiewicz

Watervliet City Manager

The City of Watervliet partnered with the River of Life Church to do a community project. The River of Life Church of Watervliet has a program that they do on the fifth Sunday of any month. They have a community outreach program to bring the church out into the community to assist with projects or conduct community service.

I did approach the pastors of River of Life, Pastors Doral and Linda Jackson. I spoke to them about a project at Hays Park that I wanted to have addressed. I wanted to restore the Bear Cave located in a secluded area of the park. This area has great memories for many residents. The area has fallen into decay and was severely overgrown. I approached the Pastors to see if this was a project they would like to partner with the city on. They agreed to be involved in the first phase, to clean it out and see what remains of the original structure.

On Sunday morning, July 30, 2017, workers gathered at the Hays Park Bear Cave. Approximately 40 people showed up with shovels, rakes, weed eaters, gloves and even a tractor. Some city staff was there to assist in the endeavor as well. The volunteers went to work clearing brush, trees and a great deal of overgrowth. The plan was to work for three hours and then break for a picnic.

Much was accomplished in a short amount of time. The city trucks were hauling the overgrowth debris out at a very fast rate. One would pull up and it would be filled and off it went. Over 15 truckloads of debris were hauled from the site.

The next steps are to spray for remaining weeds. Then place the fallen rocks back in place and establish the frame work of the Bear Cave. The work did expose the parts of the system that supplied water to the fountain and pond. The system will be analyzed and an action plan drawn up to make the system functional again.

This was a labor of love as many people have expressed the deep appreciation for the work conducted and completed so far. It is a start. There is still much to do.

The City of Watervliet would like to thank the many volunteers for the awesome work they did on Sunday morning. Watervliet is truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our community willing to commit themselves to service to the community.

Editor’s Note: According to the Watervliet Record, 6/29/1934, the Wading Pool was dedicated on July 4, 1934. In addition the project included a rustic bridge that crossed the ravine below the fountain and pool. The work was part of a CWA project to develop the park area adjoining the Hays Athletic Field. The Civil Works Administration (CWA) provided temporary employment during the severe winter of 1933/34.

Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce holding ribbon cutting at Some Things Different in Watervliet

 The Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce invites the community to a Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting at Some Things Different, 404 N. Main Street in Watervliet.

Grand Opening days are Friday, August 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting will take place on Saturday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m.

There will be live music from 12 noon to 2 p.m. both days. Light refreshments will be available as well.

Lisa Quiroz and Andy Craig invite you to visit this beautiful shop that carries uniquely different craft items