Park ribbon cutting celebrates former superintendent Chris Hansroth

by Trish Rudder

The Berkeley Springs State Park Foundation celebrated the park’s facelift on Friday, April 19 with memories, its history and a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new bridge honoring the late park superintendent Chris Hansroth, who died in 2017.

The Foundation president, Pete Gordon said when he became its leader 10 years ago, he asked Hansroth what the park needed and was given three items: to restore the walls in the Warm Springs Run; replace the bridges that were too low and became clogged with debris when flooding occurred and update the non-ADA sidewalks.

Standing on the new bridge in Berkeley Springs State Park, Chris Hansroth’s mother, Phyllis Hansroth, (center) and his widow, Lori Hansroth (left), cut the ribbon dedicating the Chris Hansroth Memorial Bridge on Friday afternoon, April 19 to celebrate the park upgrades. Park Superintendent Scott Fortney stands to the right.
Pete Gordon (left) and Bob Wurster (right) held the ribbon.
Photo by Daryl Cowles

Gordon said to fund the Berkeley Springs State Park Improvements Project, hundreds of contributions came from area residents and organizations, a state transportation alternatives grant and funding from the WV Legislature, with help from Sen. Charles Trump, Sen. Craig Blair and Del. George Miller.

The Town of Bath is the sponsor for the Park Foundation and the town Streetscape committee co-chair, Pete Brown oversaw the restoration project.

Gordon commended Brown’s meticulous attention to details.

Bath Mayor Scott Merki said the park upgrades looked great. He said he, too, was appreciative of Brown’s help, who could not attend the ceremony.

“I have a great passion for the Berkeley Springs State Park,” said Park Foundation speaker, Beth Curtin.

She shared her memories with the audience of about 40 people of playing in the run as a child and loves seeing the kids “squealing with joy” and seeing her grandchildren enjoying the run as she did.

Curtin said in two years, the Apple Butter Festival will celebrate 50 years of festivals in the Park which is “the center, the heart of the community.”

Sen. Trump, Sen. Blair and Del. Miller also spoke of fond memories of enjoying the park as children.

“We lived in the pool in the summertime; Billy Harmison was our lifeguard,” Trump recalled.