WILMINGTON, DE — On Wednesday, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Director of Parks and Recreation Ian Smith joined with City and State officials, community leaders, and local residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of renovations to Haynes Park. Located at West 30th Street and Miller Road in the City’s 9th Ward, the park’s improvements include a brand-new playground as well as a renovated basketball court with perimeter fencing, and restoration of the City’s only lighted tennis court. These upgrades, totaling a little more than $870,000, are the park’s first since 2010.
Wednesday’s ceremony included remarks from Mayor Purzycki, Parks Director Smith, City Council Members At-Large Al Mills and James Spadola, Thea Lopez, President of the Harlan Park Civic Association, and New Castle County Council Member Penrose Hollins. State Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha, who represents the 1st Representative State House District which includes Haynes Park, was also in attendance.
“The improvements to Haynes Park are nothing short of amazing,” said Mayor Purzycki. “It seems like just yesterday that this area was devastated by one of the most severe storms to hit Wilmington in recent memory, downing more than a dozen trees, nearly destroying the tennis court, and severely damaging the playground. We’ve come a long way since August of 2020, completely restoring the tennis and basketball courts, and installing this beautiful new playground so that our young people once again have a safe, attractive, welcoming place to play.”
The park’s renovations include the installation of a new 6,600 square-foot playground with all new equipment specially designed by Sarah Endriss and Brad Thornton of Philadelphia-based Ground Reconsidered to increase children’s physical activity. The modern playground with a safety surface maintains classic features that allow kids to spin, swing, climb and slide all with a unique twist that will help welcome and enrich the development of children of all abilities. These features include a fully accessible spinning carousel flush with ground level and spacious enough to accommodate children and adults in wheelchairs; a shell swing that children can use in either a seated or lying position; and a rope dome with multiple pathways that will keep children playing for a long time.
The renovations, which began about one year ago and total 20,400 feet, were made possible with the support of the City of Wilmington and a $45,000 contribution from the Wilmington Park Trust Fund for professional landscape architectural design fees.
Wednesday’s ceremony also included the planting of a white oak tree in honor of Linda Gray, who passed away unexpectedly in November. Ms. Gray represented the First District on Wilmington City Council at the time of her death and was formerly President of the Brandywine Hills Community Association for almost 20 years. She was also active in the community, volunteering with the Brandywine Zoo, the Rockwood Foundation, and the Wilmington Arts Commission, as well as a driving force behind the Haynes Park upgrade. Council Member Hollins spoke about his friendship with former Council Member Gray and her husband, Harold, who was not able to attend Wednesday’s event.