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. ••EndFragment