DALLAS TWP. — A $75,000 private donation will allow phase one of the Dallas Township Park renovation to start in the spring, 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 handicapped-accessible sidewalks and more, said Scott Grundowski, of engineering firm Barry Isett & Associates.
John Metz, owner of Metz Corporation, and his family gathered at the Southside Avenue entrance of the 6-acre park with supervisors and Grundowski to announce the donation.
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,” said Supervisor William Grant.
Supervisors sought out grant funding to finance renovation plans for both 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 work at 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 improvements.
“My son used to come here,” Metz said.
Metz’s son, Jeff, remembers coming to the park to play basketball.
“It will be great to see it restored,” said Jeff.
Supervisors started working toward a goal of renovating both the Dallas Township and Kunkle parks in 2014, Martin said.
They 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 designed for children between ages 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.