WESTFIELD – Golf Acres’ iconic “Geoffrey” the Giraffe was returned this week, but “Berry” the Bear is still missing, and new owner Anthony Witman hopes that he will be found.
Witman said a good samaritan, Mark from West Springfield, rescued Geoffrey from the wilderness of a quad trail in Holyoke and brought the giraffe to his backyard to meet his kids. When Mark saw the post on social media searching for him, he contacted Golf Acres and the 12-foot statue returned home.
There have been no sightings of the life-sized 6 to 8 foot bear yet.
Witman, who expects to close on Golf Acres at the end of the month with financing from Greenfield Cooperative Bank, says the fiberglass resin figures are a nostalgic part of the miniature golf in the recreational destination at 317 Union St., which also contains a driving range, batting range and miniature “Indy-style” go-kart track.
Another mini-golf member, “Stormy” the Stallion, has been removed for restoration and safekeeping.
“We appreciate that the Westfield youth need a place to hang out and entertain themselves, and we ask that they wait and be patient until it opens,” Witman said, adding, “Let’s try to preserve it so they can come when it’s all back together.”
Witman said he plans to begin the work of restoring Golf Acres once everything is finalized, and will be adding in some kids’ play structures and farm animals to make it more well-rounded for family fun. He expects to open to the public on July 4.
In the future, Witman said he also plans to add walking trails on the 45-acre property which features diverse habitats, including a big pond, wetlands and Powdermill Brook, which runs through it. He said there are a lot of different species of birds. “There’s a lot of ecological wealth,” he said.
He said it will be a great place for shoppers from Route 20 to come over, take a quick break with their children and have some ice cream snacks.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Berry the Bear may contact the Westfield Police Department, or email [email protected], who will arrange for the bear to be picked up if found.
“These are historic Westfield heirlooms that many people remember from their youth,” Witman said.