DCNR Recognizes City Of Easton With Green Park Award

DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti recently presented the City of Easton in Northampton County with the fifth annual Green Park Award for its work at Sullivan Park. The award recognizes excellence in the public park community in utilizing green and sustainable park practices.

“The Sullivan Park project is an excellent example for other communities that want to make their parks great assets to their residents for healthy activity, as models of how to conserve and as a place for people to connect with nature,” Ferretti said during a presentation at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society.

Sullivan Park is an urban neighborhood park. Natural springs in the park flow constantly and at one time impacted nearby residents with flash flooding and property damage from stormwater runoff.

In 2009 project partners, including a Lafayette College engineering class, came together to develop an innovative solution to alleviate the impacts of runoff while trying to preserve the natural aesthetics of the park.

As a result, a constructed wetland eliminates onsite runoff during both small and large storm events allowing the water to infiltrate naturally back into the groundwater.

Approximately one-acre of Sullivan Park was revegetated with native wetland plants. Native trees, grasses and shrubs can be found throughout other portions of the park. Monarch butterflies have been spotted enjoying the swamp milkweed that has been planted in the wetland.

Sullivan Park provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, bird watching, a playground and walking trail, picnicking, and nature exploration for people of all ages and abilities. Programs are conducted onsite through the Bushkill Stream Conservancy.

The park also serves as an outdoor classroom for local school districts, Lafayette College, municipalities and the local community.

Green park award nominations are judged on their efforts to implement a number of green and sustainable park principles including minimizing disturbance of existing areas; natural landscaping principles; managing stormwater naturally; connecting people to nature; and integrating energy conservation and green design and construction practices.

The award was accepted by Easton Director of Public Works Dave Hopkins, Erik Daly, Recreation Program Coordinator with the city and D&L National Heritage Corridor Conservation Coordinator Sherry Acevedo, who nominated the project.

In addition to the plaque, Easton will receive a tree and a bronze commemorative marker to be planted and installed on site on April 30.

For more information on DCNR’s Green and Sustainable Park Initiative, visit DCNR’s  Green and Sustainable Park webpage.

(Reprinted from April 2 DCNR Resource newsletter.)


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