Valley News Digest

Projects continue at Round Top Park

At a recent supervisors' meeting, Athens Township parks and recreation commission chair Richard Bean updated supervisors on ongoing projects at Round Top Park.

As the park season winds down, Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Reed recently finished installing concrete ramps at three pavilions to make them handicap accessible, Bean said. The Athens Township Volunteer Fire Company will also soon put up a lighted star at the park's tower in celebration of the holiday.

Officials plan to come up with another way to clear small trees around the park's pond as part of a planned $814,000 project to add pavilions and other recreational features. The commission had offered the lumber from the trees to a forester, but the value of the wood was not worth the cost of removing the trees, Bean said.

Supervisors approved the park improvements in October, including a trail around the park's pond, playground equipment, increased handicap accessibility, a composting toilet and added parking as well as a boardwalk with docks into the pond. The project is expected to take several years to complete.

Round Top Park will close Saturday for the season, opening when it snows for sledding and cross-country skiing, Bean said.

Tioga United Way seeking donations

The Tioga United Way, which provides support to agencies in Tioga County, N.Y., seeks donations to help meet its campaign goals for the 2013-14 year.

The county's economic realities are posing "a major challenge" to the campaign, according to a release from Tioga United Way executive director Brian Eldridge.

"Downsizing of businesses has caused both a reduction in the number of donors and the size of donation," Eldridge said in the release. "Without an increase in participation in the second half of the campaign, financial support to our partner agencies will be impacted, and that is one thing we do not wish to do."

The Tioga United Way supports 33 partner agencies who provide assistance to seniors, family services, youth organizations and food pantries in the county. All donations stay in Tioga County.

Those wishing to donate can mail donations to 24 NYS Route 96, Owego, NY 13827. For more information, call (607) 687-4028 or visit www.tiogaunitedway.com.

Waverly students visit SRAC

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center in Waverly recently hosted Waverly Central School District fourth-graders, who visited the center as part of their American Indian studies curriculum.

During two sessions, over 125 students visited the center, according to SRAC executive director Deb Twigg. Students learned about woolly mammoths, heard Native American children's stories, learned about early trade and visited the SRAC gift shop.

The field trips are a highlight for SRAC staff, Twigg said. "When the kids start coming in the door and Jack Andrus is dressed in Native American attire and pounding the drum, it still gets me every time," she said.

The winners of a trivia contest held during the field trip will be invited to paint one of the center's windows in conjunction with the annual Tinsel 'n Lights celebration, Twigg said.