Lights at Walnut Park Improve Safety


Funding for Lights Made Possible By New York State Community Capital Grant Secured By Assemblywoman Lupardo

Mayor Ryan: Walnut Street Park Represents What We Can Achieve When Community Partners Come Together For the Common Good

BINGHAMTON, NY—Today, Mayor Ryan, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, City Council President Teri Rennia, and community partners unveiled new improvements to Walnut Street Park, which includes the installation of lights. Walnut Street Park is part of the Design Your Own Park project, a collaboration between the Binghamton Neighborhood Project, the City of Binghamton, and the United Way of Broome County to empower neighborhoods and restore outdoor play at a citywide scale.

“I’m proud that we have taken yet another step to provide our community with a safe and thriving city park,” said Mayor Matt Ryan. “This project represents what’s possible when residents, businesses, community groups, and city hall forge a partnership and seize an opportunity to improve our community.”

The most recent improvement to Walnut Street Park includes the installation of lights, which was made possible by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who secured a $100,000 New York State Community Capital grant. Part of that grant has gone towards covering the costs of the lights, as well as providing funding for other DYOP projects. The addition of lights at Walnut Street Park will help enhance safety in and around the park.


“Parks are important gathering places for our neighborhoods,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “I’m happy to have helped the city with the resources needed for important upgrades like the lights at Walnut Street Park. It’s heartwarming to see so many residents coming together to design, build and care for these spaces.”

The Walnut Street Park is an example of empowering residents, while giving them the tools and resources to transform abandoned lots and neglected parks into creative, safe spaces for their kids and neighbors. Contributions and improvements from community partners included:

· Allyn Jones, J& K Plumbing, purchased the lot at a county auction and donated back to city to become a park with condition that Safe Streets connect with DYOP to design and build-out the space
· Allyn Jones funded the asphalt walkway construction, while him and other Safe Streets members purchased benches, and helped with initial prep of site
· PricewaterHouse Cooper Scholars made the park their annual community service project, and raised more than $20,000 for the purchase and installation of equipment, flowers, and the mural.
· Emily Jablon did mosaics with support from Binghamton Neighborhood Project
· City planted trees, installed/repaired fence, and provides daily maintenance to the park

“This is just one more example of the success achieved with real partnerships between the community partners,” said City Council President Teri Rennia. “When we are able to respond to our needs as a collective group, we can address and solve issues facing our neighborhoods and community.”

The Design Your Own Park competition is a collaboration between the Binghamton Neighborhood Project, the City of Binghamton, and the United Way of Broome County to empower neighborhoods and restore outdoor play at a citywide scale. The City of Binghamton makes vacant lots and other neglected spaces available for neighborhoods to turn into parks of their own design. Faculty and students from Binghamton University’s Binghamton Neighborhood Project facilitate the design and implementation process and also assess the impact of the project on the strengths and needs of the neighborhoods. The United Way of Broome County helps to procure funds for implementing the parks. Neighborhood groups are expected to help maintain their parks, providing a basis for ongoing interactions and relieving the city of maintenance costs. Neighborhoods that become organized in the context of DYOP are empowered to address other needs such as safety, education, health, and employment.

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