A bronze statue of a girl holding a bird that once stood at the entrance to the Smith Point bridge before it was vandalized several years ago has been restored and now stands at the mouth of the Forge River at Osprey Park.
Nicknamed Lil’ Annie in honor of the Mastic Beach park’s longtime caretaker, Annie Mutt, who lives nearby, the statue “has the best view in Brookhaven,” said Councilman Dan Panico, whose office worked with the William Floyd Community Summit’s beautification committee to move the statue to its new location.
On Thursday, Panico presented a certificate of appreciation to the committee for its ongoing dedication to the area as it officially unveiled the revamped statue at its new location. It was in storage for more than two years after its legs were cut off and a park ranger salvaged it.
The committee, currently chaired by April Coppola, has been working for the past two years to get it placed at Osprey Park. Committee member Eleanor Weeks, of Mastic, came up with the suggestion, while colleague Kelly Hristidis, of Shirley, led the effort to work with the town.
“I’m glad it could be saved,” said Panico. “The people in this community went through a great deal to add to this to the community, and the statue complements one of the most beautiful spots in all of Brookhaven Town.”
The statue, one of the original 15 that dotted the Tri-Hamlet area, was purchased with the help of $80,000 in state, county and town grants. The remaining statues can be found at the Mastic-Shirley Long Island Rail Road station, and in front of McDonald’s, Walgreens, the Mastic Recreation Center, Chase Bank, the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library and the Smith Point Bridge.
Annie Mutt’s husband, John, opens and closes the park each day.
Hristidis said the town took care of the installation and restoration costs.
Weeks encouraged members of the community to volunteer with beautification efforts around the area.
“We need the help.”