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Milford Beacon
  • Ellendale has high hopes for small town park

  • Ellendale may be a small town, but its community park plays a big role, according to town officials who are looking to raise funding to revamp the playground and gathering place.
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    • IF YOU GO

      WHAT Project Park community clean-up day


      WHEN Saturday, June 7, starting at 8 a.m.


      WHERE Ellenda...

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      IF YOU GO

      WHAT Project Park community clean-up day



      WHEN Saturday, June 7, starting at 8 a.m.



      WHERE Ellendale Town Park, 300 McCauley St., Ellendale



      MORE INFO Call 422-6727

  • Ellendale may be a small town, but its community park plays a big role, according to town officials who are looking to raise funding to revamp the playground and gathering place.
    Ellendale’s Town Park, which has been around for as long as Ellendale Mayor Kim Hughes can remember, has not been renovated since the 1990s, she said.
    “Any upgrade we can do to the park will not only benefit the Ellendale area, but those who come from the outside areas,” Hughes said. Hughes said the park is used by locals who stop by to eat lunch, nearby families from Lincoln and Milton who enjoy the quiet, fenced-in area and also for birthday parties and family reunions.
    “I think the revamp of the park is needed. Our park gets used frequently,” she said. “We’ve opened it up and are trying to make it a local effort. We’re hoping that if we can get locals involved, they’ll take greater pride in helping keep the park in good shape and in good condition. If you can be a part of something, you tend to respect it and value it more.”
    The park, located next to town hall, features a pavilion, a wooden gazebo, a swing set and two pieces of playground equipment, which are long overdue for an upgrade, according to Town Councilman Jay Jones, who is heading up the park’s revitalization efforts.
    “It’s been going downhill because there’s no actual funding for it,” Jones said. “We had to take down two slides and other equipment because it just wasn’t safe for the kids, but there’s no money to build the park back up.”
    The park is governed by the municipality, he added, and because of that, the Project Park group has faced some challenges in finding grants.
    However, Jones said the committee is working on obtaining a grant through DNREC, which requires a 50/50 match for funding. With a price tag of $50,000 to replace the current playground equipment with ADA-accessible upgrades, the Project Park Committee is working to raise $25,000 by fall 2014 to get the park ready for the 2015 spring and summer seasons. Jones said the town also hopes to replace the wooden gazebo and add a mulched play area with additional equipment.
    The grassroots effort to restore the park will begin with a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and a community clean-up on Saturday, June 7, starting at 8 a.m. Jones said he hopes residents come and pitch in whatever they can for a hands-on approach to revitalizing the town’s park.
    “There’s a lot of use at the park and I think if the community gets involved, maybe they’ll take some pride and keep it looking good once we get the new equipment in,” Jones said.
    Page 2 of 2 - During the community clean-up on Saturday, Jones said volunteers will work on landscaping and beautification efforts, like painting and planting, to make the park look presentable for summer-time use. But the real work is in the fundraising.
    Jones said the group is in the first phase of soliciting donations, and that some contractors have already promised a donation of time, mulch and design plans. Ellendale’s United Methodist Church was the first to offer a donation to the cause, which Jones hopes to be the beginning of local support for the park.
     “We want to provide a place that’s safe and where kids can stay healthy and not cooped up inside,” he said. “We’re still working on the grant to redo the park, but for now we’re doing everything we can do ourselves and we’ll take anything we can get.”
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