SIDNEY — Tawawa Park visitors will now be welcomed to the city’s crown “jewel” of parks, as Board Chair Tim Bickel put it, by a brand new entrance sign.
Roughly 40 people attended the sign unveiling on the pleasant Thursday afternoon, Aug. 18, including members of the public, Sidney City Council, Sidney Recreation Board and Sidney Parks and Recreation staff.
The new Tawawa Park entrance sign is located at the entrance gate on Tawawa Drive. A local, anonymous donor asked Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier if there were any unfunded Tawawa Park projects they could help out with, to which Gaier suggested replacing the entrance sign. The donor agreed to fund the replacement of the sign.
“Now we celebrate this park sign, that when people come through here 365 days a year, this sign will greet them. This will be the first thing they will see when they come up to the (park) gate. So, when it’s open or closed, these folks will be coming through and they will see this beautiful sign,” said Gaier as he opened the ceremony.
He next introduced Bickel, who thanked all involved for the “attractive” addition to the park and city of Sidney.
”On behalf of the Sidney Parks and Recreation board, I’m pleased to recognize, with gratitude, this substantial and especially attractive upgrade to the Tawawa Park entrance sign. It’s especially appropriate that Tawawa is being announced in such a profound way. This park is the jewel of all Sidney’s wonderful recreational settings and therefore deserves a lasting structure befitting its significance in the community,” Bickel said. “We continue to be justifiably humbled and thankful for the many people who step forward with contributions such as this which demonstrate their pride and community-mindedness. Thank you ever so much.”
Mayor Mardie Milligan also thanked and praised all involved with making the sign replacement possible.
“Thank you Director Gaier and the parks department and Park Board members for all the work that they do to keep this park and all the other parks, well kept and well loved,” Milligan said before recognizing all of the city representatives present. “The unveiling of this new Tawawa Park sign began, as many do, with people in our community wanting to do something to help the parks. It is my understanding that the design work, donated by Behr Design, started in 2015, with then Chad Steward with Behr Design, who is an avid Tawawa Park runner, who came up with the design work that we see today. I’d like to thank Behr Design for their donation of that work.”
“More recently, Parks Director Duane Gaier received a call from a person asking for a list of unfunded Tawawa Park projects. … The anonymous donor selected the reconstruction or rebuilding of the park sign to the entrance as their gift to city and the citizens of our community. A heart felt thank you to those donors and others who have made this project possible.”
Gaier previously told the Sidney Recreation Board the price to replace the sign is $10,600. The Sidney park staff demolished the old sign, and Andy Freytag did the masonry work. The mayor and her husband Tom Milligan donated the stone used beneath the sign. Behr Design donated the design for the sign.