The additions to Frankford’s town park are taking shape. As of this week, there is a new walking path at the park, paid for with a matching grant from the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation. Town Clerk Terry Truitt said the grant was intended to help facilitate physical fitness at the park, and the walking path, which circles the perimeter of the park, will help with that.
Also included in the new additions to the park is a basketball half-court, located just off the path, which will have an adjustable backboard. There will also be a volleyball court and badminton area and, eventually, exercise stations at each corner around the walking path, with natural vegetation and signage.
All of the sports equipment will be removable, so they can take it down to create additional for the town’s annual fall festival.
While some money was built into the Town’s budget for the park, they hope to finance the other additions with help from other state grants.
The asphalt for the walking path alone cost $23,900, which almost put them at the required $25,000 in expenditures to receive the matching grant funds. The Town has to spend $25,000 first, in order to apply for the grant, and they can then receive up to half of that amount, or $12,500, in return.
“It started as a dream,” said Truitt, “and in two years, it is coming to fruition,” referencing a survey they sent out in 2010 asking townspeople what they would like to see at their park. “We listened to the majority of those who returned it,” noted Truitt, reading off some of the requests: “a walking path, updated equipment, more plants and flowers, etc.”
She said parents will be able to have their young children in eyesight from any point on the walking path and the Town hopes to see families use the basketball court, volleyball and badminton areas, and eventually the exercise stations and picnic areas, along the path for family fun.
“It’s going to be nice. We are going to have a lot more equipment, and a lot more people of all ages will be able to use the park.”
The park will also eventually have handicapped-accessible entrances.
According to the State of Delaware, the Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund (DTF) is a matching-grant program to assist with park land acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development. County and municipal governments and park districts are eligible to apply for matching financial assistance. Up to 50 percent funding is available for project sponsored by municipalities or counties.
The grants have been applied to the purchase of new parks or conservation areas or additions to these existing lands, as well as the development of playgrounds, ballfields, trails, picnic pavilions and other active outdoor recreation facilities.
This summer, for the second year, the Frankford park will be the site for U.S. Camp, a Unite Sussex initiative for area children held for seven weeks in the summer at no charge. The camp offers breakfast and lunch, as well as educational, recreational and character-building activities for children ages 5-13. For more information, visit www.unitesussex.org.
In addition, the park has a pavilion that can be used for birthday parties or family gatherings. Restrooms at the facility are open on weekdays until 2 p.m. While use of the park and pavilion is free, for parties or events after-hours or on the weekend, access to the restrooms can reserved with a $25 key deposit, which is refundable if the key is returned within seven days. For more information, call town hall at (302) 732-9424.