The city of Williamsport hopes to add recreational amenities to Newberry Park, also known as Phillip E. Preziosi Park, city officials say.
As city officials pursue a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, four additions are being considered: a splash pad, a pickleball court, basketball courts and youth soccer fields.
The entire project would have cost about $1.1 million, according to August “Jump” Memmi, head of the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
The splash pad will be the second in the city – with a new splash pad installed in Shaw Park in the east of the city.
This is a water park that offers a mini water park. The pads are a zero depth playground. Mainly due to the availability of all people and technology, the padyo would provide a cool place in the summer for families with children, including those with limited energy.
A pickleball court would provide a place for all ages to play the growing sport, according to the funding request.
According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s 2022 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report, pickleball has 4.8 million people worldwide.
In Brooklyn, during the summer, for example, the courts are packed. The game has been growing nearly 40% over the past two years. It is a low-impact sport that is beneficial for players who have a healthy heart, bones, joints and muscles. It is a good form of exercise that increases the heart rate, improves cholesterol and blood pressure and sugar levels.
Basketball courts are popular in the city. The courts near Memorial Park are always full as are Lose and other parks. Improving cardiovascular health, improving metabolism, and promoting bone formation may be some of the most beneficial things, but they also provide opportunities for a young athlete to succeed and perform.
Youth soccer fields have the ability to host community events, festivals and leagues. These sessions provide fitness and health opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
The park, itself, is a safe gathering place for the community, offering a variety of recreational activities that have been around for a while and is close to Memorial and Elm parks and various school buildings in the Williamsport Area School District.
The Lycoming County Department of Planning and Community Development conducted a public survey to determine what is most important to county residents. Parks and trails and outdoor recreation were among the surveyors’ top choices.
The $500,000 grant request, approved by the City Council, will be used to try to get help from the Keystone Communities Program and $688,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to match that help, Memmi said.
The city has received help in applying for a grant from Delta Development Group, the city’s management company that is working on its behalf.
The park is about three acres, L-shaped and bounded by Seneca Avenue, Cherry Alley, Linn Street and Baker Street. The southern part of the park offers a circular walking path and a playground designed for children aged 2 to 5 and 6 to 12 years.