by Dave Warner

Preserve Our Past (POP) had a dedication ceremony last Thursday night for a bench that was installed on the southside by the Little Free Library.

The idea was to thank Jayne Ritz for her many years of working and service to the community. Philomena Cerone with POP stated, “You’ve been a responsible homeowner and landlady, a preservationist extraordinaire and now we’re going to elevate you to the level of Frederick Law Olmsted.”

Olmsted was an American landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He was the father of American landscape architecture and was famous for co-designing many well-known urban parks like Central Park in New York City with his senior partner Calvert Vaux.

Ritz’s response to that was, “I accept.”

Cerone stated, “You created this wonderful space for everyone’s use and that was so generous of you. It is truly a preserve and a sanctuary. So for that and your many contributions to Little Falls, we commend you and are so happy for you.”

“I’ve had a wonderful time with preservation in the City of Little Falls. I’d like to think that over the years, we’ve planted the seeds, much like I’ve planted the seeds here. I would say to those people who are here and those who are preservationists, that you have a lot of work ahead of you,” stated Ritz.

She went on to say that they’ve only just scattered a few seeds in this City about preservation. “You need to make it bloom, have some laws put in place, and you need to remember City Hall.”

Ritz went on to say that she’ll continue to help in any way that she can, but that it’s time for new young people to get involved.

She said that they had asked her where she wanted the bench to go, and she stated that she had chosen the spot. “It’s a wonderful place for people to come to the little library, get a book, and sit. This is very much appreciated.”

The Little Falls Rotary Club was a partner in the purchase and installation of the bench.