“Water, water, every where,
“Nor any drop to drink.’’
–The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
*Neshaminy Creek runs right through the heart of Tyler State Park, a place where Larry Waldman has spent a great deal of his running the past 40 years.
There are miles and miles of trails along the flowing water and on hot days, without drinking water in sight, that scenario can create a cruel temptation. Oh, just once to be able to jump in and satiate a gnawing thirst.
But of course that’s not very practical so Larry, a charter member of the Bucks County Roadrunners back in the ‘70s, is doing the next best thing.
He’s bringing potable water to himself and countless others like him to the far reaches of the park by funding a drinking fountain at the Tyler Park Center for the Arts .
How dear to Waldman’s heart is this project?
Well, he’s laying out $5,000 of his own money. So if you happen to see him in the Tyler one of these days, tip your hat and maybe make a contribution to PPFF (Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation), because with additional plumbing costs, there’s probably going to be a little overrun.
Also appreciative of this bold initiative is Tyler State Park itself.
While there is a fountain at the Pavilion (near the Neshaminy Creek dam, just off the main parking lot), there is nothing on the west side of the Park (facing Northampton/Richboro).
“Larry came to me last September about a fountain because there is nothing in this location,’’ says Corey Snyder, Tyler Park manager. “It is a great location, with all the trail systems around here.
“He’s been really great with this, showing patience. Sometimes it takes a while to get things done.’’
The fountain will include outlets for adults, small children and pets. Park officials will play it by ear as to what months the fountain operates, based on late fall to early spring weather conditions.
All the money raised through the PPFF remains in Tyler for projects such as this.
Waldman was all smiles on a recent visit to the site of the proposed fountain.
The days of lugging water bottles around the interior 5.3-mile circuit are just about over. Unless you’re training for a marathon and can use the fountain for a bottle refill.
“I don’t know how many years I’ve wanted to do this, at least 10, maybe 15,’’ he says, mindful that previous possible “red tape’’ issues had thwarted his early attempts.
“When I approached Corey last year, he said, ‘let’s do it.’ And it’s moving quicker than I thought. It will be a good addition to the park.’’
If you wish to make a donation, please mail a check made out to PPFF and sent to Tyler State Park, 101 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940. Or you can drop it off at the Tyler office located just off the Newtown bypass. (Put “water fountain’’ on the memo line).
Current generation members of the BCRR were excited to learn of the upcoming addition to Tyler, which continues to grow in popularity among runners because of its scenery and challenging hills.
“This is good news and very generous of Larry,’’ says three-hour marathoner Pete Lederer. “I ran at Tyler this past Sunday morning and it was already hot and humid. I carried a water bottle but by the time I was in that area of the park I had run out of water.’’
Michael Gross acknowledges Waldman’s efforts.
“Wow,’’ Gross says. “That is an amazing thing to do. It’s a great location to have a permanent useful gift to the park which will forever recognize a BCRR founder.’’
The fountain will not only help runners, but also hikers, bikers and horseback riders.
Bill Schaffling echoes Gross’s comments.
“It will certainly be used by runners and non-runners,’’ he says. “Big thanks to Larry.’’
For more information, visit the website “https://paparksandforests.org’’
Bucks County Duathlon pre-registration deadline approaching
Don’t look now, but it’s already early August, which means we’re just about a week away from the pre-registration deadline for the ninth annual Bucks County Duathlon and 8K Challenge on Sept. 2 in Washington Crossing Historic Park.
If you register by the Aug. 15 cutoff, you will be guaranteed a spiffy T-shirt, plus save yourself 10 bucks.
In our column two weeks ago on world-class triathlete Ryan Jones, the Yardley resident was quoted as saying he competes for “Team Type 1” (in support of diabetes research, care, etc.). He meant to say he used to ride for TT1. His stint with the team ended a few years ago.
Sunday Aug. 12
14th annual Steelman Triathlon, 7 a.m., Quakertown/Lake Nockamixon. Contact www.steelmantriathlon.com
Saturday, Aug. 18
Ivyland 5K, 8:30 a.m., Ivyland. Contact www.ivyland5k.org
Sunday, Sept. 2
Ninth annual Bucks County Duathlon and 8K Challenge, 7 a.m., Washington Crossing Historic Park. Contact www.buckscountyduathlon.org