Harrisburg’s Reservoir Park gets an upgrade

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Change is coming for Harrisburg’s troubled Reservoir Park.

Friday, Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced plans to launch a new study to improve the park.

Papenfuse says it’s been decades, if not more since the park was revamped. So when Harrisburg received a $50,000 grant from the state, the city matched that to move forward with a plan.

Scott Shepler has been living near the Reservoir park for thirty years.

“I remember being in middle school and I hooky’d school,” he says, “And we came to the park, me and some of my friends, and we rolled down hills, and we spent the day here walking around and taking in the beauty of it.”

Shepler says kids these days aren’t getting that same park experience.

“It’s primarily a maintenance issue,” he says.

Overgrown weeds, trashed lawns, and last summer’s graffiti, smearing the park’s ampitheater walls, disrupting a summer theater program.

“It’s sadness that we haven’t been able to keep better care of it,” says Shepler.

Part of the city’s plan is to host meetings over the next eleven months, to get your ideas for the park, which is important to the architects.

Christine Hunter, a landscape architect at H. Edward Black & Associates, has been contracted to improve the park.

“They buy into the park. People own the park, said Black. “It’s not something that somebody did and expects them to use, but it’s their park.”

In the park, we’re already hearing some ideas.

“A sprinkler park,” says Renee Hart, who live nearby. “That’s what I really want to see.”

The city will be asking your input at public meetings, which begin the end of October.

We won’t see changes in the park for at least another year.

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