WILKES-BARRE — A new sign marks the entrance to Kirby Park, thanks to a project committee of Leadership Wilkes-Barre.
The sign, which cost about $24,000, was purchased and installed through the efforts of “Team Kirby” which includes eight members of the Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2016.
According to Dan Lynn, a member of the committee, the sign was purchased from FastSigns on Kidder Street near the Wyoming Valley Mall. The electrical work (lighting) was installed by the city and landscaping was completed by American Landscaping of Wilkes-Barre.
A dedication/ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the sign location off Market Street.
Lynn said when the team first formed, members discussed what they could do for the Wyoming Valley landmark.
“We all noted that there was not signage at the park entrance and that unless you know where the entrance is, that you could easily miss it,” Lynn said. “Over the years, more and more events are being held at the park such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, July 4th fireworks and, more recently, an increase in the number of sporting events (such as rugby).”
Lynn said the committee worked with the city’s administration and architects to develop the concept. Once this was completed, the committee presented options to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for its input and approval.
The sign project was paid for with a grant from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and from a fundraiser held at Wisecrackers, as well as donations from the committee members’ respective companies, families and friends.
The project also raised enough funds to rehab benches in the park. Lynn said there were more than 20 benches that needed boards to be replaced and painted. He said the committee also sanded and painted the bench frames, spending about 15 hours working on the benches.
“While we were working on the benches, people approached us and asked what and why we are doing this work and it was so great to hear their appreciation,” Lynn said.