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Stowe Park getting major upgrade

(Above) This is a conceptual graphic of how the Linford Park playground equipment will look.

By Alan Hodge

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The front entrance to Stowe Park in downtown Belmont is getting a major rework.

Work has been going on for a couple of weeks on the precipitous old concrete staircase and embankment leading from the central S. Main St. entry point to make it safer and more attractive.

City of Belmont public works director David Isenhour explained just exactly what’s being done.

“For years the steep slope at this embankment was worn and used by kids riding their bikes down the slope and wearing it out,” Isenhour said. “We added the decorative fence along the sidewalk to eliminate this problem several years ago and we added some ground cover and shrubs to try and keep the embankment from washing completely out. This didn’t hold up and it became covered in weeds and overgrowth. The City decided to contract with the builders of the Fighting Yank and recently the new Stowe Park water fountain. This contractor will build two – tiered walls on each side of the new steps. These walls will be benched and curved and will match the fountain and Fighting Yank with the same stone work. It will have up lighting the same as the fountains and Yank as well. There will be specialized ground plants of various varieties and the new area will have irrigation. The steps will be tiered as well and have flag stone steps and terrace’s along with inserted lighting within the steps. It’s long overdue and will enhance the beauty of Stowe Park especially from within the park and looking back up at the street. The project is part of our planned CIP (capital improvement plan) and is scheduled for completion by late October. The price is around $100,000 but may require a few upgrades from that amount depending on how the electrical components (up lighting) goes. Looking at our existing Fighting Yank and Fountain and matching up with these it’s certainly going to be beautiful after it’s completed that’s for sure.”

In addition to the Stowe Park improvements, Linford Park on Cason St. in North Belmont is poised to receive  a major new piece of playground equipment  any day now. 

A group of Belmont officials and other interested folks took part in breaking ground at the three-acre park on August 10 for the new equipment which is valued at $30,000.

The money came from a Meet Me at the Park grant from the Walt Disney Co. and the National Parks and Recreation Association. The city must match the grant funds.

Belmont was one of just 25 cities nationwide to receive one of the grants. Belmont Parks and Rec. director Zip Stowe applied for it.

The fact that folks with disabilities will be able to enjoy the new playground unit is important.

‘The equipment will have ramps so that wheelchairs can use it,” said Stowe. “It will be the first of its type in Belmont.”