The Friends of Bethlehem Parks Logo

Seeking Volunteers for I Love My Park Day – May 7 – Elm Avenue Park Dog Park

April 13, 2022

The Dog Park at Elm Avenue Park in Delmar will be the site of Bethlehem’s 2022 “I Love My Park Day” on Saturday, May 7, from 9 to 11 a.m. Volunteers of all ages are being sought for cleaning up, sprucing up and improving the Dog Park.

Stop by and learn about the new Town policy allowing dogs in all Town parks – and pick up the new brochure on etiquette and safety for dog owners and non-owners alike!

Hosted by Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Parks & Trails New York and the Town of Bethlehem, the event is being sponsored by a generous grant from M&T Bank. No advanced registration is required. In the event of heavy rain, this event will be cancelled.

Click here for the I Love My Park Day 2022 Flyer.

Show Bethlehem parks some love — volunteer on May 7!

Thank you, Stewart's Shops!

April 7, 2022

A big thanks to Stewart’s Shops and their customers for supporting Friends again this year with a gift of $350 from the Stewart’s Holiday Match program! Stewart’s has matched individual customers’ donations penny-for-penny since 1986 to help out local nonprofit organizations benefiting children. This year, their generous allocation to Friends allows us to fund a 9 Square in the Air game for Elm Avenue Park. Stewart’s representative and Bethlehem resident Susan visited the park on April 6 to present the donation to members of the Friends board.

Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Matching Donation Campaign Raises Over $47K for Normans Kill Ravines Park

Town Board approves donation for the newest multi-use park

February 4, 2022

Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, a not-for-profit organization working to protect, enhance and expand recreational activities and parks in the Town of Bethlehem, announced today an unprecedented outpouring of gifts to its year-end campaign, which in 2021 was designated for trail building and trail amenities at Normans Kill Ravines Park.

Generous gifts from 154 donors — in amounts ranging from $10 to $5,000 — raised over $22,000. Delmar residents Mark Bryant and Lisa Callahan met their matching commitment, and then some, with a donation exceeding $25,000. The Bethlehem Town Board voted to accept $47, 371 in proceeds from the campaign in its meeting on January 26.

In a memo to the Town Board, Parks and Recreation Administrator Jason Gallo thanked Mark and Lisa for their “extremely generous donation,” noting that “their financial commitment will help Normans Kill Ravines Park reach its potential.” He also thanked all the individuals and groups who donated toward the future improvements of the park. In recognizing Friends for its ongoing support, Jason reflected that the organization’s ability to facilitate the matching donation opportunity “highlights their level of professionalism and importance to the community.”

“We are thrilled with the results of our year-end campaign,” said Joan Gavrilik, president of Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation. “Our deepest appreciation goes to Mark and Lisa, and to all those in our community and beyond who gave. A special thanks goes to Gene Primomo and Capital Bicycle Racing Club for their generous donation and collaboration in promoting the campaign.”

The 147-acre Normans Kill Ravines Park is within walking and biking distance of the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, the Four Corners in Delmar, and several of Bethlehem’s residential neighborhoods. It officially opened for public use this past May.

FINAL DAYS!

December 28, 2021

End 2021 in a great place, by helping us reach our goal of $100,000 designated for improvements to Bethlehem's Normans Kill Ravines Park. Delmar residents Mark Bryant and Lisa Callahan will match all donations up to $50,000 made to Friends through December 31.

To make your year-end TAX-DEDUCTIBLE gift, go to our Donations page or mail your check to Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, 261 Elm Ave., Delmar NY 12054. Thank you!

Celebrate the shortest day of the year with Friends

December 21, 2021

Mark Bryant and Lisa Callahan are still matching donations made to Friends through December 31, up to $50,000. Celebrate the solstice and help us raise a potential $100,000 for improving Bethlehem’s newest multi-use park, Normans Kill Ravines!

To make a tax-deductible gift, go to our Donations page or mail your check to Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, 261 Elm Ave., Delmar NY 12054. Thank you!

It’s not too late to double the impact of your donation!

December 7, 2021

Delmar residents Mark Bryant and Lisa Callahan will match all donations up to $50,000 made to Friends through December 31. Your gift helps us raise a potential $100,000 for trail building and trail amenities at the new Normans Kill Ravines Park.

To make a tax-deductible gift, go to our Donations page or mail your check to Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, 261 Elm Ave., Delmar NY 12054. Thank you!

The New Parks Department Playbook is Now Available!

December 16, 2021

The Bethlehem Parks Department Winter-Spring playbook is now available! Check out all the cool events and opportunities.

Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Launches $50K Year-End Matching Donation Campaign to Improve Normans Kill Ravines Park

Local donors invite community to double the impact of their contributions for the Town’s newest multi-use park

November 24, 2021

Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, a not-for- profit organization working to protect, enhance and expand recreational activities and parks in the Town of Bethlehem, announced today a matching donation campaign to raise funds for trail building and trail amenities at Normans Kill Ravines Park. Delmar residents Mark Bryant and Lisa Callahan have pledged to match dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $50,000 designated for the campaign. Donors wishing to double the impact of their gifts for this purpose are invited to give to Friends between November 30 (#GivingTuesday) and December 31, 2021.

“We are thrilled to devote our 2021 year-end giving campaign to raising funds for Normans Kill Ravines Park improvements in partnership with Mark and Lisa,” said Joan Gavrilik, president of Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation. “It is heartwarming to have Bethlehem residents so passionate about our Town parks!”

The 147-acre park is within walking and biking distance of the Albany County Helderberg- Hudson Rail Trail, the Four Corners in Delmar, and several of Bethlehem’s residential neighborhoods. It officially opened for public use this past May.

Mark Bryant and his friends spent a good part of their adolescence exploring the gorgeous forest, ravines, floodplains and Normans Kill shoreline that run through the present-day park. As an adult with a passion for mountain biking, he is part of a local biking group helping the Town improve the property. And he is as enthusiastic about the potential the park brings to local businesses as he is about the recreational opportunities it offers to the public. “Lisa and I are delighted to contribute to the sustainable development of this unique property, which makes Bethlehem an even better place to live and play,” said Mr. Bryant. With the park being so close to the center of town and the rail trail, he anticipates “families stopping for lunch or to pick up a unique local gift, and thirsty bikers dropping in for a draft.” If it’s good for Bethlehem, “we’re on board,” he said.

“The Parks and Recreation Department is fortunate to have an established working relationship with the mountain biking community,” said Parks and Recreation Administrator Jason Gallo. “From mountain bike trail development at North Bethlehem Park to the annual Bethlehem cyclocross cup race at Elm Avenue Park, their group has proved that they back up what they say with sweat equity. But more funding could give a big boost to professional efforts to construct a planned 3.5-mile multi-use loop around the property and about an equal distance of concentrated mountain biking trails in the park’s center.”

Gene Primomo, Treasurer of the Capital Bicycle Racing Club and a friend of Mr. Bryant’s since their childhood days along the Normans Kill, noted that the CBRC board is already committed to giving to the campaign and is encouraging its individual members to donate as well. “Our organization has been part of this amazing park from its infancy, and now we stand to help raise the capital necessary to make it not only a gem in our own backyard but a multi-use destination for surrounding communities,” said Mr. Primomo.

Information on making a tax-deductible donation is available at www.friendsofbethlehemparks.org/donations or by calling 516-200-4730. Secure donations will be accepted online via PayPal or by check mailed to Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, c/o Parks and Recreation Department, 261 Elm Avenue, Delmar NY 12054. Matching funds apply to gifts made between November 30 and December 31.

LAST CALL! Enter our photo contest by Nov. 8

October 28, 2021

The brilliant colors of autumn are behind us, but there’s still plenty to fall in love with at Bethlehem Town Parks! Capture our parks as the season changes — or dig back through your camera roll — for our “Fall for Bethlehem Parks” Photo Contest.

Enter by posting your favorite 2021 parks pics on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll need to tag Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation and include the name of the park where the photo was taken and #LoveBethlehemParks in each post. (Limit 5 per entrant; see the complete contest rules.)

Three winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate that can be used toward Town of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation purchases and programs. We’ll also showcase entries on the new friendsofbethlehemparks.org and on Friends’ social media pages.

Enter soon! The contest closes at midnight, Monday, November 8.

Announcing the 2021 Friends of Bethlehem Parks Photo contest!

October 1, 2021

Love Bethlehem parks? SHOW US! “Fall for Bethlehem Parks” Photo Contest

Crisp, cool fall — a great time to enjoy our parks!

Grab your camera or smartphone, head on out (while following safe COVID practices, of course), and show your community why you’ve fallen for Bethlehem parks. Post your best parks pics on Facebook or Twitter — just be sure to tag Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation and include the name of the park where the photo was taken and #LoveBethlehemParks in each post. (Limit 5 per entrant; see the complete contest rules.)

Our “Fall for Bethlehem Parks” Photo Contest officially kicks off October 1, but we know our parks are terrific year ‘round. We’ll accept entries shot any time since January 1, until the contest closes at midnight November 8.

Three winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate that can be used toward Town of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation purchases and programs. We’ll also showcase entries on the new friendsofbethlehemparks.org and on Friends’ social media pages.

There’s so much to love about Bethlehem parks — let’s see what makes them special for you. See the contest rules and post your pics by November 8!

The Parks Department Fall 2021 Playbook is Now Available!

September 16, 2021

The Parks Department has released its Playbook for the Fall! Check it out!

Friends’ Website Now More Accessible

August 4, 2021

Just as we continue to work toward making our parks accessible for everyone no matter their ability or background, Friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation is also pleased that our new website is designed to work with screen readers for those with visual impairments. It also features our new, colorblind-friendly logo and design scheme. You’ll get the same great accessible experience whether you are at home on the computer or out at one of our amazing parks on your phone. Come back and visit again soon!

A New Look

June 7, 2021

The friends of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation are excited to unveil our new website and logo!