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Stow couple have their 'own little bench' on 'heaven sent' trail

by Jeff Saunders | reporter Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM
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Stow -- Sonja and Karl Pusch do not actually own a park bench, but in a way it is theirs.

This is because their daughter, Gabriella Martin, paid $500 to have the bench at the new Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike trailhead on Young Road, near the Silver Springs Park entrance, dedicated with a plaque in honor of her parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

"I think it's a neat way to dedicate to older folks or folks who have everything and you don't know what to give them," said Martin.

She said the family arranged a ribbon cutting ceremony at the bench on Sept. 16.

"I had the family there so it would be like a dedication ceremony," said Martin.

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Sonja and Karl Pusch, both 79, are from Germany, but have lived in the United States for more than 50 years. They have lived in Stow for about 20 years and lived in Cuyahoga Falls for 20 years before that.

Sonja Pusch said she and her husband were delighted by the dedication since both love walking the trail.

"It was very nice. [Gabriella] invited all the friends and family of course and she put a ribbon there and flowers there to make it special," she said. "For us, it is heaven sent that whole trail."

The bench dedication is part of a Metro Parks program, but anyone interested in having a bench dedicated may be out of luck, at least for the time being. Metro Parks Chief of Community Engagement Nate Eppink told the Stow Sentry Sept. 27 that the program has been on hold for the last year and is being evaluated, in part because of a lack of available benches.

"The Young Road bench was sold in June of 2014 and the family has been very patient in the meantime. That's why it was installed now when the program is on hold," said Eppink.

Martin said her parents' 50th anniversary was actually in 2014, but the family was willing to wait until the trailhead opened so that the bench would be near their home on Young Road.

"We wanted it in a section of the trail they would actually use," she said.

Pusch said she is happy with the work the Metro Parks did on the trail head and "could not believe" how busy it is, saying she recently saw nine cars in the parking lot.

"We all use the trail very much and for us, it's just a few houses up and even though my husband isn't doing so well anymore, he likes to walk as far as he can and now we have our own little bench to rest on," she said.


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