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City Sprucing Up Spruce Street Park

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- For the past three months, crews have been at work at Spruce Street Park in Wilkes-Barre, making some improvements and changes.

Neighbors tell us their favorite addition is a new mural.

Up and down on the see-saw and pull-ups on the monkey bars -- just a couple of things children were spotted doing at Spruce Street.

People who live in the Rolling Mill Hill section of the city say this wasn't always the sight here on Spruce Street.

"This used to be all old railroad ties. It was a mess," said Linda Joseph.

Over the past three months, this park got more than $152,000 worth of improvements thanks to a collaboration between the city council and community groups, as well as federal funding from the Office of Economic and Community Development (OECD).

"Made it ADA accessible so there's all those sidewalks so that anyone with a walker or wheelchair or kids with strollers can come to the park, redid the pavilion, and then our icing on the cake is our mural behind me here," said city council member Tony Brooks.

Groups responsible for the improvements to the park tell Newswatch 16 before they started, they went to neighbors and asked them what they'd like to see here on Spruce Street.

"We needed new equipment. There was no question about that," Joseph said.

"The equipment is really nice, handicapped accessible, and even the park people this year are doing a nice job," said Ray Raykovitz.

Parents say it's important for kids to have places to have fun and they think the city is taking steps in the right direction.

"Oh, it's a huge positive impact on the kids and everybody. I mean we're here, aren't we? I mean I am not going to get up at 9:30 in the morning and ride my bike here if it's in shambles," Christina Solomon said.

The city says this is not the last of the parks getting improvements done this year. The Weissman Park on Scott Street and Parsons Park on O'Brien Drive are next in line.

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