With Easter just around the corner, and the spring rains surging in the creek, I have been thinking a lot about Island Park. It existed for many years on the property where the Burchfield Nature & Art Center now stands.
Island Park was a well used, bucolic place. Nestled along the creekbed it served as a popular spot for comapny picnics, family gatherings and town functions. It was a beautiful place to spend a summer afternoon.
But long before the warm breezes started to blow, there was on that spot the annual West Seneca Town Easter egg hunt! This was every child’s dream. On the Saturday before Easter, eggs were hidden throughout the lowland that runs along the creek. At the start of the hunt, children were arranged by age in groups. The small toddlers were let loose first, then the older children. Everyone scampered throughout the grove to find the most eggs.
Whether you found an egg or not, although there were so many, everyone found at least a few, you got a good sized chocolate bunny. But the real prize if you found the special egg was an almost lifesize chocolate bunny!
I fondly remember so many of these hunts. We lived directly across the street and I can remember getting up early to look across the creek to see if I could scout out the hiding places for the eggs. Of course I couldn’t. The distance was too great and the reality probably was that they placed the eggs the night before. No matter, I still had my fun using binoculars to see if I could gain an edge on the other egg hunters.
The best part was the bunny. We each got one, and we each got to eat the whole bunny by ourselves! Not something that often happened in a large family like ours.
I can still hear the man in charge:on your mark, get set go!!!! I hope kids still go to egg hunts, and I hope they still get good, chocolate bunnies. These memories are forever.
Here we are after a successful hunt.