Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 30
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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Joint County, Borough, Township Effort Helps Renovate Potts Park

Dilshanie Perera

Nestled at the elbow of Tee-Ar Place and Erdman Avenue, Potts Park was formally reopened last Wednesday by Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes and Borough Council Member Andrew Koontz in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The improvements include new swing sets, an updated play structure, and new asphalt paths connecting each piece of recreational equipment.

Last year Borough officials applied for funding through the County’s “Mercer at Play” grant program. The program encourages cooperation between municipalities to rehabilitate or create recreational spaces.

Mr. Koontz described the collaboration between Princeton Borough and Princeton Township as “wonderful” and added that the Recreation Department, Borough engineering staff, and Public Works combined forces to renew Potts Park.

Explaining the objectives, Mr. Koontz pointed out that the Recreation Department oversees playing fields and parks, and has historically been focused on organized sports. He added that the Borough’s parks are smaller and are typically used for more “passive recreation,” and therefore don’t specifically fall under the purview of the department. The purpose of the grant, he noted, “is to return the focus on smaller and oftentimes neglected parks to see them rehabilitated.”

The community’s reaction to the resurfaced park has been “positive” according to Mr. Koontz, who mentioned that the park is “heavily used.” It was apparent that children enjoy the new parkscape as brightly colored toys were strewn about the sandbox and a collection of bikes and small plastic vehicles had assembled next to the swing set. Mr. Koontz highlighted the benefits of such “pocket parks,” noting that “kids who don’t participate in organized sports” find them to be particularly valuable play spaces.

The renovation of Potts Park is part of a recreation initiative that will also include a skate park and a synthetic turf field at Hilltop Park and Greenway Meadows Park, respectively.

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