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Displaying items by tag: Congress Park
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The NY 77th Infantry Regiment monument was re-installed on its base in Congress Park this week. The base had been vacant since the summer of 2020, when the city says the statue was vandalized.
The 77th Infantry Regiment was mustered in on Nov. 23,1861, and mustered out June 27, 1865, according to the state Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. The companies were principally recruited at Ballston, Saratoga and Wilton.
The piece required significant repairs to the zinc statue, according to a statement issued by the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works, which coordinated its re-installation.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A bronze sculpture of a Civil War soldier dedicated in September 1875 in Congress Park was found to be vandalized early Thursday morning. A plaque adjoining the soldier – a mustached figure wearing a cap and a knee-length coat - reads: The 77th Regiment New York Volunteers, Bemis Heights Battalion.
Earlier this week, graffiti marred the pedestrian steps on the south side of the park.
“We will not tolerate this kind of vandalism and destruction in the city – between the (graffiti marred) Katrina Trask steps and now the statue in Congress Park, we’re going to find out who did this and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton.
It is not known whether surveillance cameras in Congress Park had captured any of the activity. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Saratoga Springs Police Department at 518-584-1800.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Approximately 300 people gathered in Congress Park Aug. 28, 2018 for an “All Are Welcome Here” Walk and Vigil.
Coordinated by The Saratoga Immigration Coalition, the event was organized as a non-political gesture of gratitude, support, and acknowledgement of immigrants and the contributions they make in the community.
A network of civic groups, faith communities and individuals from across the Capital District gathering in three different locations for the walk to Congress Park: on the West Side - where Irish and Italian immigrants settled a century ago; at Saratoga Race Course - which has a large working Latino immigrant community, and at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Broadway - a symbol of the region’s economic driver, organizers said. The Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial, which overlook the park, were fixed with the flags of the world.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Rhianna Stallard was on her way to work Tuesday morning when she caught sight of some activity in Congress Park that prompted her to action.
“I was just driving by, when I saw them taking down this beautiful tree,” she said. “I pulled over and parked, then I ran in the park and went and jumped up, into the tree.” Two workers who were set to cut down the tree were forced to pause their actions as the woman sat high atop a limb of the tree, which is located a few yards from the Congress Park Carousel, for the better part of a half-hour.
“This tree is a staple of this park,” Stallard said. “Brides get their picture with it. Kids get their picture with it. I grew up with it.”
Prevented from cutting the tree, the workers were soon dispatched to another job, in another part of the city.
“The two workers were really nice, and we had a fine conversation,” Stallard said after the workers had gone and she descended from the tree limb. “They told me they’re going to wait, that they’re not going to cut it down today.”
The willow, which is marred by a two to three-foot wide hole in its trunk, will need to be removed for safety reasons, said DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco.
“Nobody wants to see a healthy tree get cut down, but there’s nothing healthy about this tree. It’s either take it down, or it will come down by itself,” Scirocco said.
“We have talked about it for some time and we were hesitant. We asked if there was anything we could do to try and make it right, to try and save the tree - but there’s nothing,” Scirocco explained. “We talked about going in and trimming it a little bit, doing different things that might eliminate some of the issues, but in the end, it just kept getting worse and worse. I’ve got pictures from last year until now and the hole just keeps getting bigger.”
The commissioner said he has received complaints about park visitors’ safety from parents whose children play near the tree.
“Apparently some kid got inside of it,” Scirocco said. “We’re thinking: not good. The location is right by the carousel and it’s a dangerous situation. The tree is diseased and it’s in a public place where it could really create serious problems if it were to fall. And eventually it will fall, by itself.”
Scirocco said after the tree is removed, DPW workers will plant another one in its place.
A blur of bright neon burst through Congress Park Sunday and it brought with it tens of thousands of dollars. What was it? A pack of children in green shirts running for a good cause.
Children up to age 12 sprinted and waddled and rolled through two different trails in the tenth annual Cantina Fun Run Sunday morning. The Cantina restaurant, in conjunction with the Saratoga hospital foundation and various sponsors, organized the event.
“The tenth anniversary had a lot of personal meaning for us,” Cantina owner Heath Ames said. “Along with the money an awareness raised over the years, engaging our kids to help others and showing how a community comes together is a wonderful lesson to share.”
This year, the event raised $76,500, 30 percent more than the organizers’ goal of $59,500. The race trampled the previous donation record of $60,000, set in 2014. All the funds have supported Saratoga Hospital’s pediatric care. The event has raised over $400,000 since the first race in 2008.
The Saratoga Hospital Foundation has fostered the event since its inception. Officials estimated that the hospital treats over 4000 children each year. The donations have brought in new equipment and provided employees special training.
The benefit isn’t solely for the children in need of treatment. Jane Jeffery of Clifton Park said her two children, who ran the event for the first time, felt inspired watching parents and other kids move together for a good cause.
“After these types of activities, I see my kids walking around with a little bit more confidence, feeling taller, older,” Jeffery said. “I think it’s great to have that kind of internal feeling of what it feels like to move your body, what it feels like to accomplishing things together.”
Over 730 people from all over Saratoga County participated in the race. For some, the sense of community the event brought was a highlight.
“We got a big kick watching the little ones run by,” said Sal Calvelli, a Saratoga County resident of six years. “We don’t know them but we’re cheering them on. It brings you together.”
Calvelli’s children participated in the event for the first time this year.
“It’s not just fun; it makes you feel good that you’re contributing to the hospital,” he said. “It’s not just getting together with friends and family. It’s getting together for a good cause.”
Among the numerous community members were hundreds of volunteers. Heather and Brian Straughter have been Fun Run volunteers since its second year, when it was held in the old Cantina parking lot. They have watched the event, the community and their own son, Ethan, grow together.
“All these events are so great because you see people who have young kids, who have older kids. Some of the kids who run this are now volunteers. It makes you feel happy that you live in area where people care.”
Ethan, 12, has been running in the event since he was five, and 2017 was his last year eligible for the run. “He aged out,” Brian said. “Now he can volunteer.”
Local Fleet Feet Sports Opens Registration for Training
By Colette Linton
SARATOGA SPRINGS— For some people who never thought they could run before or needed an extra push to get out the have found that facing the challenge with a team and skilled coaching staff, they can go much further than they had ever thought they could.
Six years after the Fleet Feet Sports Store of Albany, and at their Malta location as of November, started its “No Boundaries” walk/run 5K training program, dozens have crossed the finish line of their first event, and more to come.
Nancy Radigan was among that first group to do so. She and her husband, Kevin Radigan, have been with the program since its inception. Nancy was a swimmer in high school and college but didn’t think about getting into running until having watched her husband and son complete races together.
“I was just like ‘wow’ that’s so cool, and I wanted to do it, but I needed a lot of help,” Nancy said.
She admits it wasn’t easy to cover the distance at each practice, but the motivation and encouragement from the coaches and the running group, which is both diverse in age and running experience – if not complete beginners, kept her moving toward her goal and eventually finishing races with her husband and son.
“For me, even though I've run these six years, it's still very hard for me,” she said. “It truly makes a difference, them (coaches and fellow runners) being there. The motivation and the encouragement is just… I cannot say enough.”
“It brings tears to my eyes to look at people we've seen,” she added. “They've (Fleet Feet) had people who have not run a step and for them to finish a 5K,” she shakes her head recalling the experience that she said was inspiring. “And it doesn't matter what group they're in: at the race, everybody is at the finish line cheering.”
No Boundaries is now one of four programs - Walk Fit, No Boundaries, No Boundaries II, Faster Farther 5K (3.1 miles)/10K (6.2 miles)/15K (9.3 miles) and Half (13 miles) & Full Marathon (26.2 miles), in which training lasts 10-12 weeks ahead of area races.
Lessons that focus on the basics of posture, reach, cadence, breathing and team support, Fleet Feet Sports Owner Charlie Woodruff said that during the first year of the No Boundaries program, 23 of 37 completed the program. However, since 2009, the number of individuals who start and finish the programs has been over 90 percent, exclusive of injuries.
“People come back, time after time after time,” Woodruff said. “People pick up a program, they ramp up a program, and they do more than they ever dreamed they would be doing.”
Woodruff said that when he had opened the stores in the area, one thing that he didn't anticipate, which has now become enormous, is the culture of the community that is created in the running programs.
“I routinely hear at our wrap up meetings: ‘I went to a meeting, and I didn't know anybody. I went to a couple of workouts, and these people became my running buddies and now they're my friends.’ So the community part of this is unbelievable,” he said.
Individuals submit a medical waiver in order to participate in any of Fleet Feet Sport’s tiered programs for walkers, beginning runners, intermediate and advanced runners and a 12-week program cost $125, which includes educational clinics, training plan, entry fee into the designated goal race and continued education.
For dates and times of information sessions prior to registration about training options, can contact Fleet Feet Adirondack at 518-400-1213.