The City of Scranton honored National Walk to a Park Day on Tuesday, Oct. 10, in conjunction with the national non-profit Trust for Public Land. The event encourages anyone who is able to get outside, appreciate their community’s green spaces, and to show why parks need to be a priority.
“Through President Biden’s Rescue Plan, we have been able to expand access to inviting parks and play spaces across Scranton,” Mayor Paige G. Cognetti said. “Our walk to Connors Park highlights one of several parks that are getting new equipment and safe play surfaces. We are thrilled to partner with our friends from Trust for Public Land to show why parks are important for cities like Scranton.”
Scranton was previously identified by TPL as one of six pilot cities for its 10-minute walk Park Equity Accelerator program. It is the first city in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia to participate in TPL’s community schoolyard project, which transforms often concrete-covered school playgrounds into spaces where children can safely play and learn. The local partner in the schoolyard transformation project is Valley In Motion.
In honor of National Walk to a Park Day, Mayor Cognetti shared her walk with City staff members live on social media as they traveled from City Hall, 340 N. Washington Ave., to Connors Park, 515 Orchard St. Dedicated in 2008, Connors Park is named for former Scranton Mayor James Connors. Crews recently installed new playground equipment and poured rubber surfacing paid through ARPA.
Connors is one of eight parks and playgrounds where upgrades are funded in part by the Rescue Plan. New equipment at Novembrino Park, 200 10th Ave., has turned the West Scranton park from a seasonal splash pad into a year-round attraction. The North Scranton Mini Park, 1800 Wayne Ave., will soon include play equipment for kids and outdoor fitness equipment for adults. Playgrounds and other features are planned for Robinson Park, 90 East Mountain Rd., and Oakmont Park, 200 Debbie Dr., and the City’s second splash pad is destined for the Capouse Avenue Park, 1300 Capouse Ave.
Additionally, using $500,000 in ARPA funds as seed funding, TPL has leveraged other grant funding across the country, including support from Macy’s, the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, and other organizations, to support schoolyard transformation projects at John F. Kennedy Elementary School and John G. Whitter Elementary School.
Additional information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
Details on the 10-minute Walk and National Walk to a Park Day are available at 10minutewalk.org.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton has been awarded $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.
ABOUT TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND: Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors.
To learn more, visit tpl.org
Last modified: October 12, 2023