Midtown park to come back to life this July


Harrisburg’s Parks and Recreation Department was joined by Friends of Midtown on Thursday night as officials revealed their plan for one of four parks that will be renovated this year.

In what was once a place filled with games of hopscotch, shrieks of laughter, and swing sets is a slab of forgotten asphalt.

“It’s actually kind of sad to see this empty lot of land that just been sitting there for almost a year now,” said David Kern, president of Friends of Midtown. 

Penn and Sayford Park’s life will be renewed this July as parks and rec transforms the Midtown park with brand new playground equipment. 

“We just really want kids to buy into this, not just for the young kids, it’s for all the kids, and we really want the kids to have that fun. That’s what parks are for,” said Kevin Sanders, director of parks and recreation.  

The park will also cut down on pollution to the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. Capital Region Water will be installing rain gardens that will just look like plants to the naked eye. 

“In those green spaces, there are going to be systems of pipes as well as gravel and filtration. That’s all going to filter the water, hold it, store it until it’s ready to be released back into our system,” said Tremayne Terry, the diversity program manager of Capital Region Water.

The project cost of around $190,000 is funded by the city, Pennsylvania Department of Conversation, Capital Region Water, and Impact Harrisburg. 

Construction expected to start this month will slightly affect traffic and already limited parking around Penn Street. 

“It shouldn’t affect any more than three spots or two spots,” Sanders said. 

If parks aren’t your style, the city pools are on track to open on time this year. 

“We had to get some things repaired, but we should still be scheduled to open in June,” Sanders said. 

Either way, the summer is looking sweet in Harrisburg. 

“It’s going to be wonderful to hear those voices and see those kids in faces here in Midtown have a place that they can go to and have fun,” Kern said. 

Cloverly Heights Park in South Harrisburg, Royal Terrace Park in Allison Hill, and Norwood & Holly Park in Allison Hill will also be renovated this year. 

Norwood & Holly is the only park that won’t have any green spaces.

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