Upon recommendation from Hawley Park Recreation Commission, Hawley Council on March 14th unanimously approved pursuing the Bingham Park revitalization project.

Upon recommendation from Hawley Park Recreation Commission, Hawley Council on March 14th unanimously approved pursuing the Bingham Park revitalization project.

The approval allows for a letter of support and filing of grant applications by the group of citizens that proposed the project, in coordination with the borough.

P.J. Dougherty advised within bandstand restoration will be the first priority. Within the next couple days, he said, an application for a $60,000 grant from PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) to do this work will be filed.

Council decided to open a separate account for the Bingham Park project.

Jim Shook, who is one of the group backing the project, said that now that Council has given their approval, there will be a link on the website for project donations, which will pass through the Lake Region Community Dock Foundation.

Other community members who jointly proposed the park upgrade are Joe Adams, Craig Smyth and Ron Schmalzle.

The group will report to Hawley Park & Recreation, which in turn will work closely with Council on each phase of the project.

Some of the plans include putting in a regulation ball field on the north end; improved parking; improved walking trails; more lawn around the bandstand for concert attendees, picnics, etc.; upgrading the tennis court with a pickle ball court alongside; moving the basketball court and skateboard park to the south end across from borough hall; adding a pavilion and in the longer term- adding a river access and pedestrian bridge to reach Riverside Park.

Described as the “crown jewel” of Hawley, the hope expressed is to make it even better for generations ahead in planned and organized fashion. The project is designed to be cost efficient in terms of maintenance and not cost borough taxpayers to devise and implement the plan. Rather, grants will be sought and donations accepted. The project group has funded the strategic plan study.

Information about the project is detailed online at www.BinghamPark.org.