Nightengale Elementary student wins contest to name Massena park

Laelah Derushia won the “Name the Park” contest by suggesting “Wavy Waters Park” for the proposed Water Street park in Massena. Pictured with Laelah are village trustees Francis Carvel, Christine Winston, Matthew LeBire and Albert “Herb” Deshaies. BOB BECKSTEAD/JOHNSON NEWSPAPERS

MASSENA — A Nightengale Elementary School fifth-grader won top honors in a contest to name the proposed Water Street park in Massena.

Laelah Derushia won the “Name the Park” contest by suggesting “Wavy Waters Park.”

“We had a contest to help name the new park that will be on Water Street. We had all the elementary at Nightengale, Madison, Jefferson and Trinity. (We had) hundreds of entries and there were hundreds of votes and we have a winner,” village Trustee Christine Winston said in announcing the winner during the July 16 village board meeting.

Mrs. Winston presented Laelah with a certificate of recognition “for her creativity and imagination in proposing the winning entry of Wavy Waters Park in the Name the Park contest.”

The contest was open to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Nightengale, Madison and Jefferson elementary schools and Trinity Catholic School. Mrs. Winston oversaw the effort and said the results were overwhelming, with some students entering more than one suggestion.

School staff at the elementary schools and village officials narrowed the names down to a top 10. From the top 10 favorite name recommendations, students were able to vote for their favorite name for the new park.

As the winner of the contest, Laelah received a certificate, a $25 gift card, and she and her family will be invited to the ribbon-cutting once the new park is opened.

The park is being funded through multiple grants, including a state Department of State Local Waterfront Development Plan grant.

The park’s amenities will include three pavilions, a bandshell, restrooms, an observation deck and parking.

A boat launch had originally been envisioned but, because of the steepness of the area, it would have been necessary to start it 120 feet away from the shore, which was cost-prohibitive.

The park is part of an effort to revitalize the Water Street area.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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