Families search for secrets of Harrybrooke Park in scavenger hunt
Published 4:51 pm, Sunday, July 16, 2017
NEW MILFORD -- Kids, parents and residents of all ages explored the hidden gems of Harrybrooke Park at a scavenger hunt on Sunday.
The second annual event was expected to draw up to 175 people to the park, giving them a chance to get outside, while learning more about Harrybrooke.
Executive Director Bill Buckbee said residents love to walk around the park, but this event gives them a “walk with purpose.”
“The biggest thing is you get out and walk,” he said. “Kids aren’t stuck inside playing video games. It’s a beautiful day to get out and enjoy the park and all that parks are.”
The event cost $5 to participate, with proceeds going to Harrybrooke. The park, which was given to the town by the late Frank Harden in 1965, is endowed by a trust fund and does not receive money from the town or state. Donations, grants and fundraising activities allow the park to stay open.
“It’s very difficult to keep the park looking how it is with the endowment that was originally left,” Buckbee said.
Last year, Buckbee had expected mainly children to participate and was surprised when mostly adults showed up. But this year, people of all ages scoured the park to find how many benches were on the property, the name of the weathervane atop the garage and even baby Groot from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies.
The questions were meant to teach participants about the history of the park and alert them to sections of the property they had never noticed.
“There’s things to make you see where you’ve never looked before,” Buckbee said.
This was the case for New Milford resident Jamie Marsh and his family. Marsh said he had never ventured to the back of the park before Sunday.
“We didn’t know all this stuff was here,” he said. “We’re going to need to come back again for a picnic or something.”
Within 45 minutes, the family had answered about 75 percent of the questions.
“We’re pretty determined here,” Marsh said.
Prizes were available to winners. Those who answered 16 of the 33 questions correctly were entered to win one of five free lunches from Bravo NY Pizza. Those who answered all the questions correctly would be entered into the drawing for a $100 gift certificate to the Bank Street Theater.
New Milford resident Jenna Peloso embarked on the scavenger hunt with her husband, son, 12, and daughter, 8. The family visits the park frequently, but did not participate in last year’s event.
Peloso said she was excited to learn more about the park, while spending time with her family.
“It’s nice to be walking around the park” she said. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s some nice quality family time.”
Pat Brought and Lynda McBeth, sisters from New Milford, participated in the event for the second time.
“We got so wiped out last year and thought we’d come back and have the some fun this year,” McBeth said.
They said they learned last year that it was better to read the list first and plan ahead. They had checked a number of questions off their list by noontime, but were still searching for the last names of Susan and Luke, who were married in the park.
The sisters said they visit the park a lot.
“We are blessed here,” Brought said. “It’s beautiful...We love it and we hope people really appreciate it and take care of it.