Spring cleanup at the Highlands Playhouse

The exterior grounds of the Highlands Playhouse were given a much-needed freshening up by a seven-person grounds crew on loan from Highlands Falls Country Club (HFCC) on March 18. 

Fred Gehrisch, Golf Course Superintendent and a full time resident of Highlands, was gracious enough to loan a small contingent of workers for a morning of pruning, shaping and weeding at the Playhouse. 

“We have been doing these types of projects for over 15 years now.  The members and management at Highlands Falls are honored to be a part of the Highlands Community and we hope that this small donation continues to improve our town,” said Gehrisch. 

The idea for the partnership came from Sandie Trevathan, a member of HFCC since 1996 and Vice President for the Playhouse. 

“When the subject of a spring clean up arose after the first of this year, I remembered that Highlands Falls did a “community project” each year.   Asking Fred seemed like a logical first step in getting an overall landscape project started,” said Trevathan. 

At this time of year, the HFCC crew would normally be focused on fine tuning a comprehensive golf course renovation project at Highlands Falls. 

“Due to the rain we experienced that particular day it was just too wet to do any construction or maintenance on our own golf course,” said Gehrisch. “We were able to send our crew, headed up by my assistant, Chris Cowan, over to the Playhouse.   With the Playhouse being high on a hill, it was actually a reasonably dry place to work.   We sent over a small crew, headed up by my assistant, Chris Cowan.  They were able to put in about 28 man hours and took two loads of debris to the dump.” 

HFCC General Manager Jason Macaulay put the spotlight squarely on Gehrisch and his crew.

“Highlands Falls Country Club applauds the efforts of Fred and his crew to donate time to benefit this special community that so many of us call home,” said Macaulay. “Many of our members and some staff have served on local Boards in their desire to give back.  Fred has found an excellent way to give back and to fulfill his desire to help our community despite his busy schedule.”

The Playhouse is preparing to reopen after a lengthy shutdown due to the pandemic and will soon be announcing it’s planned summer stock theatre schedule.  In advance of reopening, many such sprucing efforts are underway both inside and out. 

 “We greatly appreciate the willingness of the management and grounds crew at Highlands Falls Country Club to donate their time to help the Playhouse look it’s best when we announce the start of our 83rd season,” said Playhouse President Dave Healy.

By Highlands Playhouse Board Member Jeannie Mullen

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