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Contact: Matt Maisel, Director of Communiations
[email protected]
(717) 255-7295

August 22, 2023

HARRISBURG — Members of the Harrisburg community got a chance to weigh in on upcoming renovations to a series of city parks and playgrounds at a webinar on Monday.

The Department of Parks and Recreation hosted the online discussion to update the public on its plans to reimagine and redesign 7th & Radnor Park, Gorgas Playground, Wilson Park, and portions of Reservoir Park. Monday’s conversation, held over Microsoft Teams, was an update of the project through 60% of the design. Craig Bachik, Senior Landscape Architect from Navorro & Wright Consulting Engineers, led the virtual meeting, with help from Debbie Reihart, Samantha Perez and Joyce Ezegbio, Project Managers from the City of Harrisburg.

Monday’s webinar was the second of three design and discussion stages on how to spend $13 million in state and federal grants awarded to the City of Harrisburg to renovate its parks. The city deemed the four parks to undergo changes based on its use and need.

The first portion of Monday’s meeting went over public comments from a series of picnics at each location, hosted by City of Harrisburg Parks & Recreation from July 22-24. A summary of those comments can be found here.

The next stage for the city will be the final three public picnics, held Friday, September 15 at 6 p.m. at Reservoir Park, Saturday, September 16 at 12 p.m. at Wilson Park, and Sunday, September 17 at 11 a.m. at 7th & Radnor/Gorgas Playground. At these meetings, the community is invited to attend, see where the project designs look like at 90% completion, and leave and final thoughts on the designs before Navorro & Wright Consulting Engineers Inc. put the final touches on project.

Construction on these parks and playgrounds are currently scheduled for completion by December 2024.

Discussion also included an update of concept designs through 60 percent completion. These designs are only a proposal based on public comments received through slightly more than halfway through the project, and are not final concepts.

The last portion of the virtual meeting was for public comments on the designs through 60% completion. The entire meeting can be viewed here.

In October 2022, the City of Harrisburg received $13,005,733 in grant money from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-CARES Act funding, which is designed to support community improvements meant to enhance the quality of life for residents. Because the grant comes from CARES Act funding, the city had to show why improvements were needed as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic highlighted not only how much our residents wanted to use our parks, but how much those parks desperately needed improvements,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams.