HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg is seeking public input to decide how to spend $13 million in grant funding on parks and playgrounds.

The City of Harrisburg first received the $13,005,733 back in October 2022, from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). According to the City, this funding from the DCED comes from the most recent round of Community Development Block Grant – CARES Act funding.

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This funding will be utilized to rebuild and modernize the following parks and playgrounds throughout the City:

  • 7th & Radnor Sports Park
  • Gorgas Playground
  • Wilson Playground
  • Reservoir Park

Upon completion, these parks will be fully ADA compliant, inclusive to all sensories, and have increased safety measures.

These parks in particular have been chosen for these improvements due to being “deemed the most in need of immediate repairs.” According to the city, since the grant funding comes from the CARES Act, the city needed to show why these park improvements were needed, as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The pandemic highlighted not only how much our residents wanted to use our parks, but how much those parks desperately needed improvements,” Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams said. “I would like to thank our team, led by Grants Director Rebecca Vollmer, for securing this money, which will not only lead to newer and better parks but will improve the lives and mental well-being of everyone in the City of Harrisburg.”

According to the City, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has given recipients of the grants until June 3 to spend at least 80% of the awarded funds – but the City believes it is still integral to have public input.

The City of Harrisburg is asking its residents to complete a 10-15 minute survey, by no later than June 16. Parents are being asked to complete this survey with their children and fill it out on their behalf.

To access this survey, you can click here.

For additional information, you can visit the City of Harrisburg Parks and Recreation office at the Reservoir Park Mansion at 100 Concert Drive, or you can call (717) 255-3030.

According to the City, all of the projects must be completed by December 29. Once construction begins, it is expected to be the largest city park project since the modernization of City Island.

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