The Village of Canisteo’s Patriot Park, on Main Street, will be renamed in honor of fallen trooper, Nicholas Clark.
The park sits at the heart of the village and was initially established to honor first responders after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Unfortunately, a lot of folks in the village didn’t realize what the history behind Patriot Park is,” Monica Recktenwald, Mayor of the Village of Canisteo, said.
After a unanimous vote at the Village’s board meeting, Tuesday evening, Patriot Park will now be known as Nicholas F. Clark Park.
Clark was shot and killed in the line of duty after responding to a domestic call early July. He was the Village of Canisteo’s only state champion wrestler.
Clark also played on the school’s football team and carried his talents on to Alfred University.
“The park name is going to change in honor of Nicholas Clark, who was one of our hometown boys, and if you had not met Nick, it didn’t matter, if you lived here, in Canisteo, you knew Nick Clark,” Recktenwald said.
Local residents are looking forward to see the park rejuvenated in memory of their fallen hero.
“I think it’s a really great idea, the park, right now, it’s kind of ignored and dilapidated, and it would be a great honor to honor Trooper Clark,” Annie Osterwald, owner of Annie’s Restaurant next to the park and resident of Canisteo, said. “We’re really proud of everything that he did for the community.”
The project is spearheaded by the Canisteo Community Support Group with big plans for renovations. Some of which include a blue light honoring first responders, an entryway with Trooper Clark’s name on it and three monuments in memory of veterans, first responders and Trooper Clark.
“It’s in the very early stages, so we will know more as we talk tonight, and then at our next meeting, and hopefully we’re going to have a better timeline of when things can start and what it all entails,” Danielle Fairman, the president of CCSG and deputy clerk at the Village of Canisteo, said.
Fairman said the project could take two years, however, more details on financials and next steps will be available after CCSG’s meeting Wednesday night.