Playground, dog park important at Anson B. Nixon Park

Photo by Fran Maye Major improvements are targeted for Anson B. Nixon Park in Kennett Square.

The second of three public hearings for a master plan of improvements at Kennett Square’s Anson B. Nixon Park will be held Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Kennett Township building.

Discussed will be the results of a survey mailed out to residents of Kennett Square, Kennett Township, East Marlborough Township and New Garden Township. At the meeting, residents can talk about what type of improvements they would like to see at the 106-acre park.

“We’re not just brainstorming anymore, we’re starting to put things into a solid plan,” said Erin Talbert, who is helping with the master plan work. “We did a community survey and we’ll go through feedback. Safety issues will also be looked at.”

Talbert said the final master plan meeting will be held before the end of the year, at which time the final master plan will be revealed.

She said so far, it appears from the survey that a state-of-the-art playground facility, and a dog park are high on the list of improvements people want to see at the park.

“Walking and running trails were also highly requested,” she said.

Right now, the park allows animals, but they must be leashed at all times. Police often receive complaints of dogs running about in the park.

And the trails now often wash out after a big storm. Members of the Longwood Rotary Club helped to shore up the trails after the last big storm.

The Longwood Rotary Club has pledged $50,000 to the Anson B. Nixon park project. Talbert said it will cost more than that just for the playground equipment. “We’re going to need to raise a little more money before we can purchase equipment,” she said.

“One of the crying needs we have is for a new playground, said Richard Lyon, a registered landscape architect who is helping to head up the project. “We’ve had to decommission some of the equipment because it’s just unsafe. The playground gets very heavy use.”

The park, which is located in both Kennett Township and Kennett Square, is maintained by the Kennett Area Park Authority with a $100,000 budget that comes from park usage fees, grants, donations and from cooperative arrangements with local sports organizations. Anyone who wants to make a tax-free contribution to the park improvement program can do it at www.ansonbnixonpark.org.

Currently, the park has an entertainment pavilion, permanent restroom facilities, children’s playground, five pavilions with picnic tables, water and electricity, four walking trails, two sand and grass volleyball courts, two tennis courts, 18 holes of disc golf and 2 ponds stocked for fishing. Anson B. Nixon Park hosts many annual events including a summer concert series, an annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Kennett Run, and a summertime Family Fun Festival.

The next big event at the park is Vive tu Vida, which takes place Oct. 6. It is free and it is a Hispanic family physical activity and healthy lifestyle events featuring free health screenings and healthy snacks.

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