SUSQUEHANNA DEPOT, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Blue collar workers spent decades working at a former rail yard. Its’ grounds will now be a large public park and people are encouraged to explore its beauty.
Dozens of people cut the ribbon on the “Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park”. It gets its name from Ira Reynolds. He died at the age of 108, the longest living Boy Scout in history.
“An amazing man that gave back to his community but really believed in the youth and the outdoors,” Susquehanna County Commissioner Judy Herschel said.
“It’s something I can come back to you in 20 years and say ‘hey I did this’,” said Gannon Furness, a member of Boy Scout Troop 81.
Reynolds inspired people like Furness, who designed and brought this memorial back to life by installing pavers and planting shrubs.
“You really couldn’t see it. Nobody knew it was there and so I had the idea we could bring that out and make that a focal point and I came up with the idea of a big stone walkway around it,” explained Furness.
The park sits on 14 acres, more than a mile of walking path pavilion, beach volleyball and more. Prior to the mid-’70s, the Erie rail yard was on-site and in production. Thereafter vegetation grew in its place until 2017.
“Rewarding, to be honest with you. Four tough years. It was a lot of meetings, a lot of agencies all who worked very well with us,” Susquehanna Borough president Roy Williams said.
Williams helped lead the project to what it is today.
“It provides a place and I like to say intergenerational groups can come down here and enjoy it together. And quite frankly that was the focus,” explained Williams.
The borough is already looking to the future. The park has room to expand. On the west side, there are about 1.5 acres for expansion.
“That’s going to be for camping and kayaking,” said Williams.
After the ribbon-cutting people were already enjoying the park. They could be seen walking their dogs and taking a stroll around the walking path.