SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- It's going to be a year for parks in one part of the Poconos. Officials in Smithfield Township are dedicating time and money to upgrading five of their public parks.
Thanks to state casino gaming money, the parks in Smithfield Township will get new additions and some much-needed upgrades.
It was a beautiful day Monday, and Newswatch 16 found plenty of people throughout those five parks who are happy to see the money going to something the whole community can enjoy.
Robert Demito from Marshalls Creek took this beautiful weather as an opportunity to have his lunch park-side. He chose to post up at Minisink Park in Smithfield Township. It's one of five parks that will undergo some upgrades this year.
"You know, it's simple upkeeps, gravel and parking lots, fences that fall apart, so they definitely need to be maintained," said Demito.
New additions, both recreational and educational, plus some much-needed upgrades to fencing and landscape, are just some of what's to come at the five township parks, township officials said.
Those parks include Minisink, Mount Nebo, Rivers Edge, Waterfront, and Marshalls Falls.
"We decided we were in the position where we had some funds that we can apply to the parks," said township supervisor Brian Barrett. "We are proud of our parks in Smithfield Township and we thought that what we would do is enhance them and make them even better and more accessible than they are now."
Marshalls Falls is a continuing work in progress but one of the parks that will get some much-needed attention thanks to gaming money. Officials say they will be able to expand parking and make it more handicap accessible.
More than $200,000 in gaming money will go to fixing this park.
Mary Jane Goucher walks these trails often and says it can use some help when it comes to accessibility.
"We enjoy, the people that live here also enjoy coming and enjoying the facilities."
Work on Marshalls Falls will take some time but it is open to the public.
Upgrades at the other parks have already begun.
If you are a resident of Smithfield Township and would like to get involved with the parks and recreation committee, call the township at 570 223 5082, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org