DALLAS TWP. — A $75,000 private donation will allow phase one of the Dallas Township Park renovation to start in the spring, township supervisor Elizabeth Martin said Wednesday.
The donation will fill a funding gap to build a nature-themed children’s playground, an amphitheater, a dry stream bed educational area, a gravel parking lot with ADA accessible sidewalks and more, said Scott Grundowski, a project technician with engineering firm Barry Isett & Associates, of Forty Fort.
John Metz, the owner of Metz Corporation, and his family gathered at the Southside Avenue entrance of the six-acre park with supervisors and Grundowski to announce the donation and the planned start of the park restoration in the spring of 2018.
The playground area of the Dallas Township Park will be named the Metz Family Nature-Based Playground.
“Without this donation, we would not be able to do this,” supervisor William Grant said.
Supervisors sought grant funding to finance renovation plans for both the Dallas Township and Kunkle Parks.
In April, supervisors acquired a $236,194 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Local Share Account to fund phase one of the Dallas Township Park.
In 2016, the township received $24,375 from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The municipality matched the DCNR grant for a total of $48,750.
Metz, whose family and business are located in Dallas Township, said he is “very excited” about the park renovation.
“My son (Jeff) used to come here,” he said.
Jeff Metz remembers going to the park to play basketball when he was a child.
“It will be great to see it restored,” Jeff said.
Supervisors started working towards a goal to renovate both parks in 2014, Martin said.
The municipality worked with residents and engineers to create a wish list of features for the township park, located between Lakeside Drive, Southside Avenue and Route 309.
Redesign plans include park lighting, police surveillance cameras, as well as two playgrounds, one geared for 2 to 5-year-olds and a second one designed for children between the ages of 5 and 12. There will also be a skate park, two dog parks, one for big canines and one for smaller dogs; trails, a splash pad for children, a pavilion with restrooms, an amphitheater and an all-purpose field.