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Lambertville group outlines revised construction plan for Ely Park

Artist’s rendering

After raising nearly $200,000 in additional funds, the Friends of Ely Park on Thursday announced revisions to the mission and plan for revitalizing Lambertville’s largest public green space.

“We surveyed residents over the past two years, heard what was important to them, and are addressing safety issues as well as making the park a more welcoming, child-friendly community space,” said Friends of Ely Park President Jim Mastrich. Surveys of residents showed that top priorities were the beautification of the park and utilizing the space for community events, the group said.

The project was the brainchild the late local designer and restaurateur Jim Hamilton. An allocation of $410,000 by the city of Lambertville has brought total funding to more than $600,000.

Construction of a decorative brick and powder-coated steel fence on North Main Street, from just below the Lambertville Public School playground to the city’s football field at Jefferson Street, is expected to be completed by mid-July.

“In addition to the fence, we’re wrapping up external improvements to the Snack Shack,” said Mastrich. Local muralist Illia Barger has been tapped to create art on the façade of the Snack Shack.

Artist’s rendering

Original plans called for a fountain and water feature dedicated to Hamilton.

“Instead, the board is in the process of partnering with the Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce to create a $50,000 endowment fund in his name with the purpose of awarding annual scholarships to area high school juniors to help support their interest in the arts,” Friends of Ely Park announced. “In addition, wood from a centuries-old London Planetree that once grew in the park is being cured by Niece Lumber. The plan is to offer the lumber to local carpenters and artisans to craft one-of-a-kind furniture, which will be auctioned or offered for sale, with the proceeds added to the Hamilton scholarship fund.”

“Our hope is that Ely Park will become the centerpiece of the community that Jim Hamilton envisioned, and a destination for tons of family-oriented recreation and enjoyment,” said Mastrich.

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