Christine Beddia’s family planted roots in York County in 1957, when her father, Frank Beddia, immigrated from Sicily, Italy, at the age of 13. His hardworking entrepreneurial spirit provided for her family and served the York community well. When he suddenly passed away in the fall of 2007, Christine and her family searched for a way to remember his spirit and his love of growing family and relationships in the community. The family decided to sponsor a flower in the Gear Garden, the steel flower memorial garden at Foundry Park on the Codorus Creek.
The Gear Garden opened in the summer of 2008 as part of the larger, newly renovated Foundry Park on the Codorus. The park, built on land formerly owned by the Eyster Weiser Co. foundry, honors York County’s industrial heritage. Specific artifacts from the foundry and from other York industries have been recycled for new use in the park. For instance, electric motor engine covers are used to make toadstools in the Gear Garden, and gears from drying ovens at the now-closed Pfaltzgraff Pottery plant in Thomasville have been made into game tables, ready for visitors to play a game of checkers.
Christine Beddia is glad that projects such as the Gear Garden are helping to beautify and preserve our natural resources. She says that she and her family are thrilled to support the project. “We are grateful to York County Community Foundation for helping us preserve our father’s legacy, one that our father created from the very first day he stepped on the rich, new soil.”
Funds to renovate Foundry Park in York City came from $250,000 in grants from the Codorus Watershed Endowment of York County Community Foundation, a state grant, and private contributions. The Codorus Watershed Endowment is a fund within the Environment Field of Interest area at the Community Foundation, which promotes awareness, protection, and conservation of natural resources.