The apparent unsuccessful attempt to obtain additional grant money to renovate the downtown Lehighton parks is not deterring the Lehighton Downtown Improvement Committee (LDIC) from making efforts to undertake the project on its own.
The LDIC has three projects under way in an effort to both bring awareness to the downtown and to possibly improve the park.
Stage a festival in the upper park next July 9, which will include a car show and art show. This replaces the LDIC's Fourth of July festival, which was held at Baer Memorial Park this past year.
Sell personalized pavers which will go around the fountain and possibly on walkways in the lower park.
Host a "civic challenge" in which civic organizations, churches, and individuals will be provided with segments to plant perennials and care for the flowers.
Brenda Koons, a member of LDIC, said that if things go as planned, "we will truly have a community park again."
The emphasis isn't only on the lower park. Members of the LDIC said they hope to make improvements in the upper park behind the municipal building, too, although the immediate emphasis will be on the lower park.
The brick project is the immediate priority on the LDIC agenda, said Todd P. Zimmerman, who is in charge of it. Already some bricks sold last year in anticipation of a grant and major park makeover have been installed by the fountain.
He said the installation was made by Walker's Landscaping Service of Franklin Township, who donated its time and equipment.
"We're actually hoping to do the entire park" with bricks, said an optimistic Zimmerman. A banner with contact information will be placed on the fountain.
Koons said the LDIC is "trying to give residents the incentive to be part of it" with the encouragement to plant flowers.
"I think it's great, especially since we were expecting the grant," said council member Darryl Arner of the LDIC's efforts.
The borough had architects submit proposals on how the downtown park could be renovated with new walkways, plants, and other major improvements in anticipation of a matching grant. Various circumstances, though, made it obvious the grant can't be obtained.
Zimmerman said anyone wanting more information on the brick pavers or the park plans can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.