pp080220disabledpark

First row, kneeling, from left, are Mark Hinkle, Matt Martin and Keith Baran. Second row: Bob Anstett, Norman Baneravage, Tom Allardyce, Greg Horinko and Jeff Vetack.

When Mark Martin and his father, Ed, president of West Pittston Parks and Recreation Board, stopped by Morris Park in West Pittston one day after hearing about the need for a sidewalk for a handicapped accessible swing, they saw a woman there in a wheelchair.

“I thought, wow,” Mark Martin said, “There was not much for her to do in the park.”

A member of Carpenters and Joiners Union Local 445, Martin asked some of his union brothers to donate time and labor to fix the problem, which would have cost the recreation board, $10,000. Money they didn’t have.

“The union encourages members to help in their local communities,” Mark Martin said.

The carpenters coordinated a day when they could do the work in March, but then the park was closed due to the COVID virus.

“When things settled down, we got together and poured it,” he added.

Though the park is still closed, the sidewalk is ready and the swing has been installed. Martin said he is excited for the park to open so the woman he saw and other people with disabilities can use the swing.

Lynn Burbank, a member of West Pittston Tomorrow and the recreation board, said other park improvements are done or are in progress.

“We also are using the time the park is closed to paint some equipment, repair fencing, add more secure fencing to the dog park along with adding a utility gate for mulching around the memorial trees and performing other maintenance in the dog park. Fencing repairs and upgrades are also being done all around Morris Park,” she said. “Areas around the play equipment were dug out with the help of our Public Works employees. They also put down brand new mulch. Dave Balent used his equipment to dig the area out where the concrete path was laid as well as loaning our Public Works employees equipment to dig out the area around the new swing. We used that dirt to fill in some low spots and plan to cover areas with top soil and plant new grass.”

jsmiles@pittstonprogress.com

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