Water Street Park to Close April 1, Farmers Market Will Be Next to Library

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Credit: Josh Popichak

Benches in Water Street Park, Hellertown (FILE PHOTO)

Water Street Park in Hellertown will close April 1 for construction related to planned improvements, borough manager Cathy Hartranft announced this week.

Benches in Water Street Park, Hellertown (FILE PHOTO)

Credit: Josh Popichak

Benches in Water Street Park, Hellertown (FILE PHOTO)

The closure is expected to last through the end of the year, and will affect the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market, which has called the 7.95 acre creekside park home.

When it opens for its tenth anniversary season on Sunday, May 3, the SVFM will be next to the Hellertown Area Library, where there’s a large grassy area opposite Dimmick Park.

“There are many benefits to this location, as the borough is going to create an inviting outdoor, eco-friendly environment with picnic tables, trash and recycling receptacles, benches, Port-A-Pottys and a permanent banner,” SVFM chairperson Shelley Goldberg said in an email to market vendors about the change. “Our informational signs will be displayed throughout the entire season and the location will attract many new patrons from Dimmick Park as they attend baseball and football games and practices, Relay for Life, (the Dewey Fire Co.) carnival, the playground, the community pool and many more activities,” she added.

Parking for the farmers’ market will be on Constitution Avenue and in the library’s and Dimmick Park lots.

Goldberg noted in her letter that the closure of Water Street Park will occur later in the spring than was initially hoped for–due to the harsh winter–but she promised that the work will “be worth waiting for our 2016 return.”

The following improvements will be made at Water Street Park, which already boasts a pavilion, a sand volleyball court and a playground:

  • Completion of two currently unfinished ADA-accessible unisex restrooms
  • Construction of a new basketball court
  • Construction of an expanded parking area
  • The planting of a rain garden and the addition of landscaping
  • Addition of concrete curbing
  • Entrance safety enhancements
  • Stormwater management

Hartranft said the improvements will enhance Water Street Park’s status as a community asset and “offer additional recreational opportunities for all.”

The funding for the work is from various grant sources, including the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails & Recreation Program; Northampton County Open Space Fund; Northampton County Community Development Block Grant; Main Street Lehigh Valley; Monroe County Local Share; and Lehigh Valley Greenways.

A grand reopening of the park is expected to be held in the spring of 2016.

The closure of the park will not affect the Saucon Rail Trail, which passes by it and will remain open during the construction. However, there will be no parking available at Water Street Park for trail users, who are encouraged to use the parking lot at the Walnut Street trailhead.

The Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through November, and features more than 40 vendors/producers selling everything from farm-fresh vegetables to soaps to artisan pizza.

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