After months of planning, design and preparation, Orange Township's newest park formally opened Sunday, Aug. 10.
Though Walker Wood Park has been unofficially open since mid-July, the township's park board hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10. The park is located off Walker Wood Boulevard south of Pleasant Colony Drive.
What was once an open green space now features a trail, a playground, parking for about 40 vehicles and open space for sports practices.
"I think it looks fabulous. I'm very impressed with the township. It looks really nice," said Randee Masciola, park board vice chairwoman.
The park's construction began last fall and was to be completed by the end of May. However, because of the harsh winter and heavy rainfall in the spring and summer, construction and final touches were delayed.
The total project cost for the park was $372,500. That includes all site work, parking lot, grading, seeding, shelter, trail construction and the playground.
The community also contributed opinions about the park. Students at nearby Freedom Trail Elementary School voted on the playground design, and residents visited park board meetings to have a say in various decisions.
"We had so much public input. It's truly a community-based park," Masciola said.
Despite the delays for a formal opening, Walker Wood has been popular this summer, said Beth Hugh, township maintenance and park director.
"I haven't been there yet when there haven't been kids playing," Hugh said.