by Elaine Marranzano –
If it gets cold enough this winter, skating will once again be allowed on the Tarrytown Lakes.
“Yes, we are prepared to allow skating on the lower lake this season if the ice is thick enough,” said Village Administrator Richard Slingerland.
The turnabout is largely due to the prodding of the Tarrytown Lakes Committee. With “great effort and community involvement,” the committee coaxed Tarrytown to get the necessary training and equipment to once again allow skating.
“Our role is basically that of a nudge,” said Cathy Ruhland, chairperson of the Tarrytown Lakes Committee, a nonprofit group made up of volunteers.
By prodding, coaxing, cajoling and encouraging the village and others to pay attention to the 72-acre Tarrytown Lakes Park, the committee has spearheaded a remarkable renovation.
The trails around the lake have been expanded, there are new bilingual fishing signs, the new soccer field is in use, the grass at Wilson Park has been mowed and dead trees removed, you can now use your own canoe or kayak to paddle around the lakes, and – the ice skating.
The experience of skating at the lakes is an indelible memory for people who grew up locally.
“I remember my white ice skates tied together with red, belled, pom-pom decorated shoelaces, slung over one shoulder… meeting groups of friends on the way… entering the warm wooden shed…. changing into my skates and gingerly walking down the wooden steps …finally gliding onto the bumpy ice,” wrote Mary Lynn Pearlman on Facebook.
The committee held Toll Brothers’ feet to the fire to make sure the developer honored its commitment to properly manage storm water runoff and install a well-drained soccer field at Wilson Park.
“But for the persistence of the Lakes Committee, these commitments would not have been fulfilled,” said Ruhland.
To continue their work, the Lakes Committee is hosting its first fundraiser to “Celebrate Tarrytown’s Lakes” on November 18. They are seeking funds to help address the algae problem and the restoration of the beloved skate shack, among other things.
“The village can bring about one level of improvement to the park, but the Lakes Committee can raise the bar to a higher level,” said Slingerland. “We are grateful for their help.”
The cocktail party fundraiser will take place on: November 18 from 4 –7 p.m. at Sleek eBikes, 37 Main Street, Tarrytown. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at: www.Tarrytownlakes.org.