A dedication ceremony was held to recognize the recent landscaping done to the Slatington Memorial Park, located at Main and Second St., thanks to a $5,000 grant from First Niagra Bank.

Dan Stevens, president of Northern Lehigh Future Focus, said, "If you stood here one year ago, you saw bricks and grass. It was the site of the old high school and now it is a beautiful park for the community to enjoy and we thank First Niagra Bank for helping us accomplish that."

Phase I's construction project was completed last fall which consisted of a paved performance area, installation of a Victorian gazebo, benches, parking and sidewalk installation and grass planting, all made possible through a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant and donations received from former classes who attended the old Slatington High School. The total cost of Phase I was approximately $130,000, which included the DCNR grant, public donations, in kind services from the Borough of Slatington and a local electrician, who did wiring and outlet installation at the gazebo, and Northern Lehigh Future Focus who paid for the electrical parts.

The borough of Slatington's in kind services consisted of demolition work, line painting, water service installation, etc.

Eight benches surround the area, four donated by Slatington High School classes of 1953, '54, '56 and '59.

The landscaping had to be pulled out of Phase I due to a shortfall in funding but thanks to the $5,000 grant from First Niagra Bank of Slatington, the landscaping could be completed with trees, shrubbery and flowers added.

Stevens gave a special thanks to Mick Schuck of MTS Landscaping for "the first rate and professional job."

"First Niagra is proud to support the park. Our bank is very community involved and we're proud to be a part of the Memorial Park. It gives us a sense of pride to see the site of the old high school go from an empty lot to a beautiful area for community events and concerts to be held," said Dave Druckenmiller, the area manager of First Niagra Bank.

"It's fantastic that they have converted what was once an eyesore into one of the highlights of Slatington," added Brian Reilly, branch manager of the First Niagra Bank of Slatington.

Stevens said they have applied for another grant for Phase II which will see to side parking, additional landscaping with plaques from the old high school to be featured.