Park gets $200K upgrade

Park gets $200K upgrade


A Philadelphia Main Street beautification project is underway at Dewitt DeWeese Park utilizing federal COVID relief funds.

The beautification follows a conceptual master plan completed in 2020 after the placement of the Fallen Veterans Monument.

The Main Street beautification project is in its first phase which began on April 17 with the removal of pine trees.

In total, there’s about $200,000 in the park project including the memorial.

“When we started this project, we knew all of those trees needed to come down,” said Tim Moore, Main Street director.

“The top of all those pines were diseased, crooked, forked, and needed to come down because we will put a fence around the park.”

With the trees cleared, the focus now shifts to planting shrubs, a butterfly garden, lighting, and sprinkler systems with additional amenities such as new walking trails, benches, and picnic tables.

Main Street will introduce new trees to provide shade, though smaller than before. The aim is to have all lighting installed before Christmas.

“There will be playground equipment and maybe some weather sails,” Moore said. “We want everything to be visible and eye-catching from the road.”

With summer approaching, Main Street is also collaborating with Master Gardeners to help determine the best planting times. 

Existing park features like rocks on the slope, the arched entranceway, steps and walls, utility poles, sidewalks, the pavilion, and a bench with the Albert M. Latting sculpture memorial will remain but are subject to change as the project progresses, Moore said.

“There are different things we could do,” Moore said. “We are going to work with what we have right now and make adjustments from within. It’s a working plan.”

The timeline remains flexible as Main Street continues to gather funds. The first phase is being funded through federal American Rescue Plan monies.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, was a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the country's recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.

“We are all excited. It’s been a long time coming,” Moore said. “We’ve been working to build up funds to be able to start, and without the help of Tennessee Valley Authority, Philadelphia Utilities, and the city we would’ve never been able to afford to get the trees down and get started like we are.”

For more information about the DeWeese Park project, contact the Philadelphia Main Street Association at 601-656-1000.

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