Harrison Park Update
by Matthew Williams
It may look like progress on Harrison Park ground to a halt during our unusually cold and snowy December, but take a stroll along the bike path now, and you’ll see that the park is continuing to rise from the former A.C. Humko brownfield site.
The playground equipment has all been installed, and we’re waiting only for a warm-up to install the rubber safety surface in the tot area. In memory of the Society vice president, Mary Funk, who died suddenly in November, the Parks Committee has named the playground “Funk-ee Town” and is looking forward to a spring dedication ceremony. (Please remember that the playground is a construction site and is dangerous. Do not allow your children to play there until the orange fence has been removed.)
The bike path and all of the concrete work were installed before the cold snap in December. New trees along the bank and scattered throughout the site also beat the winter. Lighting was installed in early January and will light up the site when transformers are installed and tested. Benches, picnic tables, waste receptacles and bike racks have been installed, too, and already the park looks like an inviting place to relax.
The gazebo is nearing completion and is currently slated for installation in mid to late March. Members of the park committee will be visiting the gazebo fabricator in February to inspect and approve it before it’s powder coated and delivered. Already the city’s Recreation and Parks Department has received requests to reserve the gazebo for weddings this summer. The photos in this article show components of the gazebo under fabrication.
The sculptures that were selected in the first round of the Harrison Park Art Competition will be fabricated over the next few months and installed in early summer. Meanwhile students at CCAD have been invited to participate in round two of the competition, and we expect to be able to hold community-wide voting in April.
Volunteers will resume their work cleaning up the riverbank once the weather breaks. They removed the bulk of the invasive honeysuckle and dead, diseased or dying vegetation last summer; in the spring, the city is planning to treat the bank to prevent new honeysuckle from retaking the area. The volunteers’ focus this summer will be on removing debris and trash from the bank and from river wherever possible. Watch the website for dates on which you can help out with this important job.
Though the blanket of snow makes Harrison Park appear sleepy and inactive, a lot of work continues behind the scenes. As soon as the weather breaks, you’ll see a flurry of activity on the site, so keep an eye out. Harrison Park’s inaugural summer is just around the corner.