Northeast Times

Rush Park upgrades should be set in a year

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Work on Ben­jamin Rush State Park is ex­pec­ted to be com­pleted in late April 2013, mem­bers of the Park­wood Civic As­so­ci­ation were told last week.

Dur­ing the as­so­ci­ation’s March 21 meet­ing at St. An­selm’s R.C. Church, vice pres­id­ent Bill Ne­veil said he had heard the date from John Norbe­ck, the state’s parks dir­ect­or. Norbe­ck con­firmed that the next day in an e-mail to the North­east Times.

In 2009, Norbe­ck presen­ted Park­wood mem­bers with the de­tails of the state’s plan to de­vel­op Rush’s 275 acres as a pass­ive re­cre­ation area. The park at Southamp­ton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard had been used by com­munity garden­ers, a mod­el air­plane club and horse­back riders, and had re­mained un­developed acres for dec­ades.

A zon­ing is­sue and then fund­ing got in the way, but once that was settled, com­munity garden­ers were told they would miss this grow­ing sea­son as con­struc­tion went for­ward this year.

When work is com­plete, Rush, the city’s only state park, will have a new en­trance off Southamp­ton Road, a com­fort sta­tion, sew­er and wa­ter con­nec­tions, un­paved roads for bik­ing and walk­ing, and park­ing spaces made of por­ous as­phalt to man­age storm wa­ter. Com­munity garden­ers and mod­el-air­plane club mem­bers will be able to re­turn. Ne­veil said he learned that con­struc­tion will take eight months.

In oth­er busi­ness, mem­bers agreed with re­cord­ing sec­ret­ary Lou Farinella’s sug­ges­tion that the as­so­ci­ation in­vite all sev­en of City Coun­cil’s at-large mem­bers and Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.) to a town meet­ing so they can ad­dress neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents and an­swer their ques­tions. Farinella said he would try to ar­range the meet­ing and re­port back to mem­bers.

Ne­veil said the civic as­so­ci­ation would link its yearly neigh­bor­hood cleanup with the city’s spring cleanup on April 14. Res­id­ent Mary Lou Klein said she had vo­lun­teered to or­gan­ize the ef­fort and would at­tend a plan­ning meet­ing with city of­fi­cials this week. She wasn’t sure how she would get city-sup­plied equip­ment be­cause she has a small car, but Ne­veil said he would help ar­range that. The city sup­plies rakes, brooms, shovels and work gloves.

The civic as­so­ci­ation’s next meet­ing will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, April 18, at St. An­selm’s R.C. Church on Dunks Ferry Road. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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