MANCHESTER – Another township park is getting some much-needed improvements.
The township will next provide a facelift to Bowker Field in Whiting.
Maser Consulting laid out its plans for the park at the township council’s March 25 meeting.
The plan calls for a new playground with a rubber safety surface. The park will also get new basketball and tennis courts, which will include pickleball markings.
Residents and guests will get to enjoy a paved nature trail, and a stamped-concrete sidewalk that will lead to the park’s veterans monument.
Irrigation and 300 feet of home-run fencing will rehabilitate the softball fields, which township officials assured residents will remain open during the project.
The total anticipated cost for the project is $346,600. The township expects to receive a Green Acres grant, which will fund 25 percent of the project’s cost.
The Green Acres program, operated through the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, offers loans and grants to local and county governments to purchase open and space and develop outdoor recreational areas. According to the state, more than 650,000 acres have been protected or developed into recreation sites since the program was started in 1961.
Bowker Field was constructed in the 1930s, but wasn’t always called that. In 1945, the park was named for Raymond Bowker, a local resident and soldier killed in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
The park was last renovated over 20 years ago in 1998, when “additional facilities” were added, according to township officials.
Bowker Field has two softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, a bocce ball court, and large playground with picnic tables. Off-street parking is available.