09/22/14 4:00pm
09/22/2014 4:00 PM
Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year's snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year’s snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

The 17th annual Spanner Tournament along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead is set for Sept. 27. Hosted by the Riverhead Town Recreation Department, the tournament’s goal is to get get more people into fishing while also raising money for the Riverhead Recreation Department Scholarship Fund.

The tournament is split into two divisions: adults (16&over) and youth (under-16). A rod and reel will be awarded to the first-place winner in each division. And trophies are handed out to the top three finishers in each division.

The first 100 people to register receive a free T-shirt. To pre-register, call 727-5744, ext. 0, visit the website at www.riverheadrecreation.com or go in person to the department at 55 Columbus Ave. in Riverhead.

The tournament begins at 11 a.m. On-site registration starts one hour earlier. The tournament runs until 3 p.m.

Anglers must supply their own rod & reel and bait.

There will also be a Chinese auction for prizes donated by local businesses, which starts at 3:15 p.m.

06/30/14 3:04pm
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Ammermann Riverfront Park

Sponsored By Riverhead Recreation Center.

The mission of the Town of Riverhead Parks & Recreation Department is to enrich the lives of residents through diverse, affordable programs and special events, for people of all ages; as well as provide safe, friendly parks, beaches and community centers for everyone to enjoy.

A typical commute to work for most of us on the East End of Long Island includes a stop at the deli for some breakfast, the corner gas station to fill up, and perhaps running a few errands on the way. This routine trip is just that, routine. We generally don’t drive off the beaten path and take a look around.

Did you know that the Town of Riverhead owns and operates over 40 parks and beaches? Many of them you probably didn’t even know existed, where they are located, or what is available to do there. We’ve narrowed down a few of our favorite hidden treasures to share with you and hope you find them as special as we do.

First on the list is the beautiful Ammermann Riverfront Park, located directly behind the Main Street store fronts on the south side along the Peconic River. Many of you have probably already been to this park without even realizing it. Whether you were at the Long Island Aquarium or dining at one of the numerous Main Street eateries, you’ve most likely been here.

With sculpted boat moorings and scattered park benches and gazebos lining the boardwalk, Ammermann is a great place to visit at any time of the day. An extra perk to this public venue is it is the host of the Recreation Department’s annual Snapper Tournament held in September every year.

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Milton L. Burns Park

Jumping across to the west side of Peconic Avenue, you’ll come across Milton L. Burns Park. Before this title, the park was known as Grangebel Park.

Timothy Griffing, a distinguished member of the Riverhead community and former head of the Suffolk County Bar Association built this park to surround his own residence, naming it after his three daughters Grace, Angeline, and Mabel. The new name and honoree, Milton L. Burns is a Veteran, war hero and former town supervisor.

This park, with a great view of the Peconic River, is decorated with various sculptures, a waterfall, and an amphitheater performance stage. A great location for your lunch break, a good read or to catch up on a little “me” time.

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Weeping Willow Park

With all this talk about the Peconic River, we can’t forget to mention the newly opened Weeping Willow Canoe/Kayak launch, previously home to the Weeping Willow Motel on West Main Street. Whether you own or rent a canoe or kayak, this is a perfect location to jump on in and paddle down the river, take in the beautiful scenery and check out a few of the parks along the way.

Looking for a location to enjoy a quiet picnic, pickup ball game, or somewhere new for the kids to play outside? Police Officer’s Memorial Park is the place for you. Formerly known as Bayberry Park, the quaint and peaceful park is located on Bayberry Road in Wading River.

With a baseball field, basketball, tennis and handball courts, as well as several shaded picnic areas, there is so much for you to enjoy. A perk to visiting this town park is its close proximity to Wading River Beach: the perfect place to cool down after a full day of activities.

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Veteran’s Memorial Park

Heading up-Island as we East Enders would say, let us take a look at one of our newest and grandest parks, Veteran’s Memorial Park in Calverton. Here you will find the town’s first dog park, Isaac Park, and the home field to the Riverhead Tomcats. The Tomcats are a member of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League and will be hosting all of their home games at one of the 4 ball fields located here. With a three mile bike/cardio path surrounding the park, future plans include the construction of four multi-purpose fields, tennis and basketball courts, multiple playgrounds, volleyball and bocce courts, and an amphitheater. Only a half-mile from the Riverhead/Brookhaven town border, Veteran’s Park is a central location for people of all communities to congregate.

As we look to expand our social borders and open our programs to surrounding townships, we’re adding bigger and better features to several of our facilities for all to enjoy.

So next time you are out on that boring commute to work or running errands around town, take a look around and we guarantee you’ll run into one of Riverhead’s numerous parks or beaches.

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Veteran’s Memorial Park

Please contact the Riverhead Recreation department for even more hidden treasures and stay up to date with all of the new and improved programs and events. Visit www.RiverheadRecreation.com or call 631-727-5744 for more information.

09/07/13 6:00pm
09/07/2013 6:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Nick Raynor, 14, of Riverhead has participated in the snapper tournament for the past several years.

The docks along the Peconic Riverfront were filled with fishing enthusiasts today for the Town of Riverhead Recreation Department’s 16th annual Snapper Tournament.

Recreation program coordinator Jim Janecek said about 130 people registered for the event, which focuses on getting children and adults interested in fishing and raising money for the recreation department’s scholarship fund.

Winners of the adult (over age 16) and youth divisions (under age 16) were chosen based on the size of the fish they caught and awarded a rod and reel. Trophies were awarded to the top-three finishers in each division.

Nick Raynor, 14, of Riverhead said he’s been fishing “all his life” and that this was the fifth or sixth year he’s participated in the tournament. On Saturday, he caught a snapper measuring 9 and 2/8 inches, putting him in third place for the youth division as of 1 p.m.

“The Snapper derby is a good program,” said Nick, who is a freshman at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School. “It’s fun. I come every year and I plan to keep coming every year.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

08/28/13 7:00pm
08/28/2013 7:00 PM

FISHING: Snapper tournament The Town of Riverhead Recreation Department will host its annual Snapper Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, on the Peconic Riverfront. The focus of the tournament is to get youths and adults involved in fishing and to raise money for the recreation department’s scholarship fund. A rod/reel will go to the winner of the adult (16 and older) and youth (under 16) divisions. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers in each division. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 100 registrants. Pre-registration is available by calling (631) 727-5744, ext. 0, or in person at the recreation department at 55 Columbus Avenue, Riverhead. On-site registration will begin at 10 a.m. on the Peconic Riverfront. The tournament will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Anglers must supply their own poles and bait. In case of inclement weather, call (631) 727-5744, ext. 30 for updated information the morning of the event. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 8.

02/03/13 7:00am
02/03/2013 7:00 AM
BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  The temporary ice rink at Stotzky Park was closed after temperatures rose above freezing. But it may reopen for a few hours Sunday.

BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO | The temporary ice rink at Stotzky Park was closed after temperatures rose above freezing. But it may reopen for a few hours Sunday.

Riverhead residents and even some out-of-towners enjoyed five straight days of ice skating at Stotzky Park when the weather dipped below 20 degrees last week. The rink is now locked but Councilman George Gabrielsen said he was hoping that the below freezing overnight temperatures will allow the rink to reopen for a few hours Sunday.

The town’s recreation department is expected to check the ice at noon today. If frozen enough, the rink will reopen at that time.

Temperatures are forecast to hover around 32 degrees and overnight to dip in the 20s for the next five days. Mr. Gabrielsen said he will ask the fire department if necessary to spray down the surface to smooth out the ice.

Recreation Department director Ray Coyne said the rink will likely be open again once it freezes.

“It’s going to be hit or miss,” he said. “I was very impressed with the amount of people who came out to enjoy the skating.”

The department said it will provide updates via Facebook on the Riverhead Parks and Recreation page.

RELATED: Time to grab some skates and hit the ice

RELATED: Video — ‘This ice rink is so cool, I want to live here’

photo@timesreview.com

01/26/13 2:30pm
01/26/2013 2:30 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Mad Scientist professor Will Hill fills the auditorium with CO2 gas 'fog' by dropping dry ice into buckets of hot water.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Mad Scientist professor Will Hill fills the auditorium with CO2 gas ‘fog’ by dropping dry ice into buckets of hot water.

A standing room crowd of 200 children and their parents packed into the auditorium at the Town’s Senior Center in Aquebogue Saturday morning to be amazed and entertained by the science-themed show presented by Mad Science of Long Island franchise.

Mad Science calls the shows “sparking imaginative learning.”

‘Fire and Ice’ was presented by Mad Scientist Professor Will Hill, who has been doing the shows for seven years.

Mr. Hill said that the show teaches the children the scientific properties of fire, air pressure, dry ice and carbon dioxide. He also taught them about scientific method, hypothesis, physical and chemical changes and sublimation.

For the finale he had the children close their eyes as he dropped dry ice into hot water, which turned the carbon dioxide into clouds of CO2 gas, filling the room with ‘fog’ to the delight of the children. He explained how that was done in movies and haunted houses.

The Recreation Department usually sponsors two of these free Mad Science events each year.

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01/23/13 3:49pm
01/23/2013 3:49 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO  |  The temporary ice skating rink at Stotzky Park will open for the first time at 2 p.m. Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The temporary ice skating rink at Stotzky Park will open for the first time at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Riverhead Town’s temporary ice skating rink in Stotzky Park will have ice skating for the first time Thursday as temperatures dipped below freezing long enough for the first time this winter.

The town brought the plastic liner and PVC piping needed to convert the roller skating rink into an ice rink last year, but it never got cold enough to make ice, so the rink was never used for ice skating.

But that’s changed this year.

Riverhead Recreation Department Superintendent Ray Coyne has announced that the town “will officially be opening the gate to the ice rink” at 2 p.m. Thursday.

It’s free to skate, but ice skates are not provided, Mr. Coyne said.

The rink will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until the temperature rises above 32 degrees, he said.

tgannon@timesreview.com