October 24, 2021

Newton Park in Homer officially opens this weekend

A new place to play

Colin Spencer/Staff Reporter

Homer Mayor Hal McCabe speaks Saturday at the grand opening of a new playground at Newton Park.

It was covered in snow. The kids stayed home. And who wants a wet posterior after sliding down a snowy slide in November, anyway?

But when the snow melts and the warmth returns, kids in Homer will have a new place to play with a new playground at Newton Park on Cayuga Street.

Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe and members of the Village Streets and Parks Department opened the playground Saturday following months of largely volunteer work.

The park features eight swings — four of which have harnesses — and four slides. Fencing around the park and sidewalk renovations will be completed in the spring as the final part of the project, McCabe. Four benches and a bicycle rack will also be added.

The idea for the park came from a resident who spoke with McCabe about having a park that children who weren’t in the elementary school could use, McCabe said. The gates for the elementary school playground are locked during the school day for the safety of the school children.

He applauded the effort of the Parks Department and volunteers who helped with construction.

“I think it’s great. It gives our residents with younger kids somewhere to go during the day,” he said.

Total funding comes to $50,000 when work is complete. Funding will come from a state Community Development Block Grant.

Construction began near the end of August, said Kevin Reese of the village Streets and Parks Department. Volunteers installed much of the equipment last month.

After installing the equipment, the village added more than 150 cubic yards of mulch.

“If the weather cooperates, when the snow melts, this will be completely ready to go,” Reese said.

Trustee Edward Finkbeiner said the park will help improve the quality of life for children.

“You can play Nintendo and Xbox all you want, but you still need fresh air and exercise to have a good, healthy, long life,” he said.