Wolf Administration Celebrates Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park Ribbon Cutting
Susquehanna, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary of Community Affairs and Development Rick Vilello today joined Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services Lauren Imgrund, Environmental Group Manager for the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Cleanup Program Bob Lewis, the Susquehanna Depot Borough, and local stakeholders at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park.
“This collaborative effort between our sister agencies within the commonwealth and our local partners in Susquehanna County resulted in a successful outcome for the first brownfield to playfield remediation pilot project,” said Deputy Secretary Vilello. “Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park has transformed into a safe, accessible space for residents to utilize for countless activities, serving as a new gathering space for this community.”
The ceremony officially unveiled the 14-acre community park which was historically part of the former Erie Railyard. The remediation project is the first pilot project for the Brownfields to Playfields initiative and included coordination with DEP, DCNR, DCED, and the Borough of the Susquehanna Depot.
“Projects like this are tremendous examples of the benefits of cleaning up these sites, and how important they can be for the communities,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Historic railyard activities resulted in soil contamination, specifically antimony, arsenic, and lead, within the park and surrounding areas. In 2017, remediation processes began to remove and consolidate contaminated soil as well as the installation of a 14-inch protective cap.
The Susquehanna Depot Borough was awarded a $250,000 Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) grant which assisted with the installation of walking trails, lighting, fencing, a pavilion, and a volleyball court.
“DCNR is grateful for the interagency cooperation on this innovative pilot project, which aligns with our goals of expanding outdoor recreation opportunities for all Pennsylvanians,” Deputy Secretary Imgrund said. “We especially appreciate the Susquehanna Depot Borough for prioritizing this project and look forward to seeing the impact it will have in the community for years to come.”
Now that the park is clean and safe for reuse, it provides the surrounding community with a space for Borough events, recreational activities, and future opportunities for community revitalization.