HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The City of Harrisburg has received $13 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for city park upgrades.

The grant money came from the most recent round of Community Development Block grant-CARES Act funding. In order to receive the grant, the city had to show why the improvements needed to be made and how it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

“The pandemic highlighted not only how much our residents wanted to use our parks, but how much those parks desperately needed improvements,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams.

According to the city, once the project begins it is expected to be the largest city park project since the modernization of City Island. Several areas and parks will be seeing huge renovations including:

  • 7th & Radnor Park – new playground and new park equipment
  • Wilson parks – new playground and new park equipment
  • Jackson Lick Pool – converted into a ‘spray park’ (AKA ‘Splash Pad’)
  • Reservoir Park – a ‘spray alley’ will be added

“These parks will look nothing like they do now once we’re done with them,” said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Baker. “We’re going to undergo a complete rehabilitation to bring them up to modern requirements and expectations for what our residents deserve.”

According to the city, all the upgrades made to the parks will be made in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, in addition to being sensory-inclusive and improving safety measures.

Harrisburg City received the most grant funding out of the total 15 separate entities in Pennsylvania that requested and received a portion of the available $45 million in grant money.