This spring has been a fantastic year to get outside and enjoy our natural resources. In honor of major improvements to Sunrise Park’s main pavilion with the addition of handicap accessible ramps, parking and access point as well as the new playground, the Conservation Commission partnered with our Parks and Recreation department to reinstate the Annual Fishing Derby. Initial registration reached over 60 plus within only the first few weeks of its announcement and topped over 100 participants the day of the event with ages ranging from two to sixteen years of age. Gift cards, tackle boxes and fishing poles were among the many prizes our anglers received. The Grand Prize winner Aiden, age 8, brought home the win with his .85 pound largemouth bass and received a trophy as well as other prizes. These prizes were made possible by many gracious donators including Suffield Village Market, Suffield Hardware, Zanto Pizza, Spellman, Kelly & Fanous Law Offices, Scott Terra, Nancy Sluzinski, People’s Bank, Webster Bank, West Suffield Mini Mart, Pat Reilly, and Art and Marilyn Christian.
With such a large turn-out the event was assisted by Boy Scouts from West Suffield Troop 66, Henry Bloniasz and Sam Hanson, along side our Animal Control Officer, Ryan Selig. On site, Parks and Recreation Director Peter Leclerc as well as members of the Conservation Commission helped organize attendance, amenities, and announcements. Additionally, a significant number of non-perishable items were donated for the Suffield Food Pantry in memory of and to honor long time twon employee, Kerry O’Brien. Overall, the Annual Fishing Derby was an amazing success, and the Conservation Commission looks forward to seeing it grow each year and continue to inspire a love of the outdoors and our incredible natural resources among our young participants.