Bethlehem Council: Proposed park is a win-win
Bethlehem City Council approved a neighborhood park between Evans and East Fourth streets on the Southside at its April 16 meeting.
The park at 727 E. Fourth St. will feature table games as well as native plants.
"We're working with Edge of the Woods, which is a very respected native plant grower, to replant the site, which is fantastic because any time to add native plants you're decreasing maintenance and improving the environment," said Council member Karen Dolan.
Dolan said the table games would be a nod to the Latino population and feature games that are popular in their culture.
"I think it's been well planned and the most exciting part is it's all being brought together by volunteers," Dolan said.
Council member J. William Reynolds said he's excited about the project, especially because of a lack of usable recreation options on that part of the Southside.
"That lot has been sitting vacant for a while now and I think it's a win-win for all the parties involved and I think it will be another addition to our recreation on that side of the Southside," Reynolds said.
Council member Robert Donchez said he grew up right next door to where the park will be built and called it a "great asset for the community."
Dolan said the park could be open in June.
City Council also approved an "anti-demolition" ordinance that will protect 22 historic buildings in the city. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect historically significant buildings that fall outside of the three historic districts in Bethlehem.
Buildings listed in the ordinance include the Bethlehem Silk Mill, the main commons of Liberty HS and Burnside Plantation. Several churches were also on the list including St. Stanislaus Polish Church, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Slovenian Church and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church.
Martin Tower and the Lehigh and New England Railroad Freight Warehouse were originally included on the list, but council voted to remove them following a motion from council member Michael Recchiuti at the April 2 council meeting.
The next city council meeting will be May 7 in Town Hall.