The newly re-imagined Municipal Park officially opened to the public on Saturday, June 30, to a crowd consisting of residents, elected officials and perhaps to the ones most excited for the park to open—young kids just wanting to play ball.
For a project that has been in the works since 2006, the site of the new park is truly a sight to behold. At one time, it was merely a playground and a baseball field and a giant hillside. Today, that hillside is now the foundation for a multi-purpose field, complete with bleachers and lights, as well as a baseball field, a softball field and a beautiful new playground. There is also a one-mile walking trail around the park.
Additionally, the picnic pavilions boast tables and benches that are completely made out of recycled materials—one picnic table is equivalent to 1,100 milk jugs. And it won’t stop there.
There are possible plans for the future to install windmills to generate the power for different things in the park, the idea being to make this one of the greenest parks in the state of Pennsylvania.
It is the assumption that taxes would have to be pretty high in North Strabane to pay for all of this but, in fact, the park was funded with state grants, including a $267,000 grant, said a representative to . Also, the township hasn’t raised taxes in 19 years, said the director of parks and recreation, Greg Sulc.
The residents’ reactions to the new park have been very positive, Sulc said. “(A resident) told me, ‘It was like going through the Fort Pitt Tunnels and seeing Pittsburgh for the first time.’”
One resident of North Strabane said she was impressed with the facilities and is most excited for her children who will have a place to play and be active.
“The boys said, ‘We can bring our bikes up here! (I think) it makes the kids feel special. Now all we need is a pool!”
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially “open” the park, there was a first pitch and kick on each of the new fields, referred to as “Take Me Out To The Field In The Park.” Wild Thing, the mascot of the Washington Wild Things, was present for the festivities.
Afterward, the festivities took on a fair-like atmosphere, complete with face painting, moon bounces and musical performances, including one by Washington County’s contribution to . Later on, there was a fireworks show provided by Zambelli Fireworks.
For Sulc personally, this is a dream come true. He said has put a lot of time and effort into this project. He envisions things like kites flying and people visiting with their pets.
“(This will) be a hub for all residents (of North Strabane) to gather,” Sulc said. “We couldn’t have imagined it on paper. It’s one thing to see it on paper, but to see it in reality, it’s breathtaking.”