Killington has a new park at the base of the newly restored bright red water wheel.
The late Ken Budzyna, a well-known Killington local, and his wife, January Hill, had always talked about creating a park in Killington. They envisioned a spot where people could come to read a book, or hang out and socialize with friends, in a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. After Budzyna passed away, Hill decided to create such a space in his honor. She and Water Wheel Trading Post owner Charlie Demarest decided that his location would be a perfect fit.
Demarest restored the wheel at the Water Wheel Trading Post after it was severely damaged by floods during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, friends and family wore plaid shirts as they gathered at the Water Wheel on Route 4 for a dedication of a new park. Kenny Budzyna and his three best friends often wore plaid shirts. They were affectionately referred to as “The Golden Girls,” because they were always talking; it was said that you could hear them coming a mile away by their banter.
Hill said that locating the park at the Water Wheel on Route 4 in Killington would allow the most people, both locals and tourists passing through, to enjoy it. She planted perennials and added splashes of color with mums. Surrounding the pond is a bench swing and four rocking chairs with name plaques, one each for Kenny and his three best friends, plus an eternal Christmas tree, covered with lights year-round.
“I wanted to think of a nice way to honor Kenny. We always talked about doing a park in Killington. He would love this,” Hill said.
Next year she will be expanding the gardens, adding landscaping behind and to the right of the store, to include a fenced in area that is dog-friendly, so people can have their dogs off leash while sitting in the park.
By Robin Alberti