Veterans Memorial Park Project
To view pictures of the Veterans Memorial Park Project, visit the slide show.
In 2009, while watching their grandsons' baseball game, a few grandmothers dreamed of revamping Veterans Memorial Park. This dream became Grandma's Project and the initial task was to beautify the entrance to the Park on North Second Street. This area includes two ball fields, basketball and tennis courts, picnic pavilions, and a playground area.
Through a successful fundraiser, sufficient funds were donated and the first project was completed. The following organizations and individuals donated to this campaign: Newport Lions Club, Newport American Legion, Perry County Sailors Association, Newport Fire Company, Newport Fire Company Auxiliary, Newport Civic Club, Perry Valley Grange, Oliver Grange, and Bill Mitchell. Thank you for your generous support! Read an article published about the Project in May in the The New Sun. View a PDF version of this article here. Read an article published about the Project in June in the The Sentinel. View a PDF version of this article here.
While walking around the playground area, Ruth Ann Linn, the namesake Grandma of the project, noticed many things that needed repaired, replaced, or removed. As a member of NRPS, Grandma asked them to partner with a group of community citizens to fix the problems.
The group felt that since the Newport Borough Council governs the Park it would be appropriate to ask for Borough Council's approval to proceed with the project. Following approval by Borough Council, the group behind Grandma's Plus Playground Project took immediate action. Grandma was joined by a force of volunteers who painted, weeded, and made repairs. New playground equipment has also been ordered. These efforts will create a place where children in this community can play in a safe environment.
The second phase has begun with the Veterans Memorial Park Project Committee, which is comprised of representatives from NRPS and Newport Borough Council. The Committee is making substantial progress towards an improved Park. A parcel of land was purchased during 2011 from the White family on the end of the Park bordering the Newport Water Authority property. Funds donated by Orrstown Bank in memory of Susan Connell were used for the acquisition. This parcel, vital to the revitalization and enhancement of the Park, will become a nature area dedicated to Susan. It will be connected to the Park through a series of walkways.
The Committee is working with Larson Design Group (LDG). LDG created a final plan that combines the high points of the proposals and input from the public. Click here to see the detailed site plan. The Committee feels there is a good combination of recreational and nature facilities. The two ball fields are a big part of the Park and the resulting plan is expected to blend the facilities into a space that serves the entire community.
The Committee recently applied for a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Additional sources of funding have been pledged by the Borough, Miller, Howe, Oliver, Buffalo and Juniata Townships, and over 60 businesses, organizations and citizens. The Committee extends a warm thank you to everyone who has pledged to donate to the NVPP.
2012 proved to be a great year for the Veterans Memorial Park Project. LDG finalized a detailed site plan. Work continued throughout the year with many area non-profits, dedicated individuals and school students lending a hand to complete various projects.
The year ended with the most exciting news yet: NRPS and the Borough of Newport were the proud recipients of a Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grant award of $110,600 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This amount is doubled with matching funds from many area residents, businesses, non-profits and governments.
Our most sincere appreciation to everyone who has participated in this project. We look forward to another year of progress and improvements at the Park!
2016 has been an incredibly productive year at the Veterans Memorial Park. We expanded the Susan M. Connell Nature Area by purchasing additional land. A new building is under construction and due to be completed in May. Volunteers are at the Park weekly to continue maintenance projects.
Two articles appeared in the Perry County Times about the Project: Work begins at Newport's Veterans Park. View a PDF version of this article here. Newport Veterans Memorial Park project to be finished by month's end. View a PDF version of this article here.
Donations and More Information
Please join in this effort with your time, money, or both. NPRS is handling the funds, which are tax deductible. Please mark donations with "NVPP" and mail to NRPS, PO Box 13, Newport, PA 17074. To sign up as a volunteer or to ask questions, please contact Frank Campbell at (717) 418-2779 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Plan by LDG