LAKE PLACID - Sure, Lake Placid is getting a new bandshell, but what about the rock that kids play on during concerts at Mid's Park? What's to become of it?
According to plans for the remade site, the ground in front of the bandshell would be raised to create better dancing space, wheelchair access and water management. That would bury the rock.
Jeff Erenstone and some other local parents are excited about the new bandshell but worried about what their kids are going to play on when the site work is complete, possibly by the beginning of next summer.
Children sit on the rock in Mid’s Park, Lake Placid, during a free concert by the Abrams Brothers band in July 2012.
(Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)
Jeff Erenstone tells the Lake Placid village Board of Trustees about his Save the Rock campaign Monday.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
"I played on it as a kid, and my kids play on it now," Erenstone said of the rock, "and we'd like that to continue."
He and others have started a campaign to raise money for a new rock, which they are calling Save the Rock.
Erenstone and his cronies have made a Facebook page for their cause, which can be found at www.facebook.com/LProcksave. On it, they make outrageous claims like the rock has been "found to be a beacon of divine will on earth," it's actually Plymouth Rock, moved here to keep it safe from the British, and after Teddy Roosevelt found out that while climbing Mount Marcy, William McKinley was about to die, he went to the rock to decide if he would accept the presidency.
The page includes a disclaimer: "None of the 'Fun Facts' on this page can be verified and may even be 'facts.' But I think they are 'fun.'"
Erenstone also told the village board Monday that the rock is the one from which King Arthur pulled the legendary sword Excalibur.
"You can still see the crack," he said.
Making up these "fun facts" has been one of the best parts of the fundraising campaign, so far, he added.
Erenstone explained that his group is encouraging people to donate into the general fund for the bandshell, for which $60,000 still needs to be raised. But once that money is raised, he and his cohorts hope any additional money can go toward installing a new rock at the park. He said he has his eye on one already, but the details of the plan would still need to be worked out.
Erenstone said his business, Mountain Orthotic and Prosthetic Services, is offering to match donations up to $1,000. The Uihlein Foundation is also currently offering a 2-for-1 match for donations to the bandshell cause.
Mayor Craig Randall said he checked with Bill Billerman, who is heading up the bandshell fundraising campaign, to make sure the two groups are working together, and Billerman told him they are.
Randall said he's glad to hear that.
"It's kind of a fun project," Randall said.
The village board granted the project conceptual approval while noting that it wants to hear more details once the rock plans solidify.
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.