Officials breaking ground for improvements at Covington Park were, from left, Jack Flyte, Bill Heim, John Brostoski, Art Pencek, Bill Davis, Commissioners Corey O’Brien and Mike Washo, Mike Kushner, representing State Sen. John Blake; Thomas Yerke, Marlene Beavers, and Dean Cali, representing State Rep. Ken Smith.Christopher J. Hughes photo / For Go Lackawanna
COVINGTON TWP. – Lackawanna County Commissioners, Bill Davis, the county director of parks and recreation, and other local officials broke ground Tuesday morning on $1.3 million in planned improvements at Covington Park just off Winship Road in the township.
The plan brings the total amount of improvements to $1.6 million following the construction of a new Little League field that began last year.
Covington Park has existed since 1974, according to Covington Township chairman of the board of supervisors Thomas Yerke. It previously only contained a Teener League baseball field. The previous county administration had once discussed plans to sell the property.
Yerke said Commissioners Corey O’Brien and Mike Washo promised to develop the property during their 2007 campaign.
“They came through with it, and we’re very pleased about it,” Yerke said. “We’re tickled to death.”
“This is what landfill trust money and Growing Greener and county assets and county funds should be used to do: to advance parks and recreational opportunities throughout our county,” O’Brien said.
The second phase, which ceremonially began Tuesday, will bring a boundless playground, multipurpose field, basketball and volleyball courts, walking trail and more to the property.
“North Pocono has been underserved in Lackawanna County for decades,” O’Brien said. “We’re going to remain strong, remain firm, and continue to build here. You deserve it, and our community deserves it.”
Washo lauded the efforts of the administration for undertaking an “ambitious recreation program.”
“There’s no way that the municipalities that are represented here would have ever had the resources to do the things that we’re going to be able to do here, yet it’s yours. It’s yours to enjoy, it’s yours to utilize,” he said.
“You own it forever, folks.”
Bill Heim, vice president of Moscow Borough Council and president of North Pocono Youth Soccer said the improvements to the park will also increase recreational opportunities for his organization.
Spring Brook Township Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Flyte said local leaders waited a long time for county government to positively impact the North Pocono region.
“You did a swell job,” Flyte said.
Parks in Lackawanna County that offer boundless playgrounds for children of all levels of physical ability include the county-owned McDade Park, the Abington Area Community Park in South Abington Township, and McHale Park in Dunmore. The commissioners said last week that another boundless playground at the county-owned Aylesworth Park will be among $650,000 in improvements there.