A new Commemorative Brick Walkway Project has begun in Montezuma Heritage Park to help fund and develop a new walkway in the Butterfly Garden area off High Street at the Park Trailhead entrance. Bricks may be purchased, imprinted and placed in the new sidewalk at the gazebo in the Butterfly Garden. Families and/or individuals can be honored for a $50 tax-deductible donation. The 4″ x 6″ bricks can be inscribed with three lines (minimum of 14 characters per line) to honor living or deceased individuals. A form may be download here to order the bricks.
Stan Longyear has created a 10 foot brick walkway entrance to the gazebo where the inscribed bricks will be placed. Next year three new benches will be installed in the gazebo.One of the areas identified n the Park Plan to develop is the main trailhead located just off High Street entrance of the Byron Lapp Memorial Trail as an attractive entrance and area where people can gather. The project began with adding a kiosk, benches, and a mural. A historic mural was painted by Dawn Jordan to highlight the site where the Exchange Hotel once stood along the banks at the important junction of the Erie Canal and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.
Plans are to create a replica of the canal boat, “Montezuma ” that will hold the mural. It was designed to commemorate the a packet boat built by Comfort Tyler as one of the first boats used on the Erie Canal when the middle section was the first to open between here and Rome in 1819. Stonework remains of the crossover bridge that pulled the boats from one canal into the other are now part of the landscaping. It includes a memorial to Byron Lapp, Town Supervisor, who helped acquire the parkland in the 1960’s-70’s.
The Exchange was an important hotel in the days of the Erie Canal, also used for elections and town meetings. The idea for a Butterfly Garden came up in a Park Design Committee meeting. Soon the project began to come together.
We were very pleased to see that dream come true in 2016. The Decker/Shaw family donated a gazebo in memory of their loved ones which volunteers installed. The Montezuma Historical Society Friends of the Park worked with Seneca Park Zoo to layout and plant perennials near the High Street Mural. As we laid out the garden we began to see it take the shape of butterfly wings on each side of the gazebo. The Zoo’s Beltway program is meant to engage and inspire communities in butterfly conservation. MHS purchased the plants form the Zoo and staff helped us layout and do the planting. They returned to do the release and give a talk on the lifecycle of caterpillars. transformed to butterflies that everyone, young and old enjoyed.
During 2016, the Park Design Committee worked with Doug Gerber, Landscape Architect with Environmental Research Design (EDR), to create an Interpretive Plan for the park that included this site. Doug laid out the handicap accessible walkways that will lead from the parking area and trail to the gazebo and future boat site. Design Committee member Dan Randolph donated bricks and the Walkway Project began to take form.
Stan Longyear has created a 10 foot brick walkway entrance to the gazebo where the inscribed bricks will be placed. Next year three new benches will be installed in the gazebo.
There’s a children’s book, called “Lillibit’s Dream,” that can remind us of almost 200 years ago when Dewitt Clinton’s dream transformed Montezuma into a prosperous canal town. It represents the many metamorphosis this site has seen over the years transformed now into a place nowwhere people can come to rest and be renewed in a beautiful nature setting that honors our Town’s canal heritage.