Wilmington park to get $300,000 makeover

 Workers add mulch underneath playground  equipment at Father Tucker Park in Wilmington's Little Italy section. (photo via WestSideGrows.org)

Workers add mulch underneath playground equipment at Father Tucker Park in Wilmington's Little Italy section. (photo via WestSideGrows.org)

Located in the heart of Wilmington’s Little Italy section, Father Tucker Park will get an overhaul through the federal Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership.

Every summer, thousands attend St. Anthony’s Italian Festival in Wilmington. Father Tucker Park is an integral part of that festival, typically being used as a base for carnival rides and other entertainment.

The park plays a vital role in making for a successful festival, and provides a place for neighborhood children to play and area residents to enjoy other community events, including adult sports leagues. But all of that use has caused wear and tear on the park and community groups have said the playground is outdated.

Those shortcomings will be corrected thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership. The ORLP is funded by revenue from federal offshore oil and gas royalties via the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“I am thrilled that more than $300,000 in federal funds will go to breathe new life back into Father Tucker Park — a location that holds such a special place in the hearts of so many Delawareans,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware.

Improving the park was a big priority for more than 650 residents in the area who worked on the West Side Revitalization plan.

“There is strength in numbers when it comes to repairing neighborhoods and improving lives,” Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said. “I could not be more pleased than to know that we are all taking these steps together to assist entire communities.”

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