GREENLAWN, New York, June 26
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Greenlawn, rejoice: Coral Park is officially open.
The town park – which was some two decades in the making – opened on Friday to a crowd of eager parents and children ready to see what the new space has to offer.
“If you look at the park’s features, we’re happy to say, it’s a classic neighborhood park,” Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said at the park’s christening. “It’s walkable, people come in and out of it, and it’s people that live in the community and the neighborhood [who] are to take advantage of it.”
With its conception stretching back to the 1990s, the space for Coral Park – located at the eastern end of Leigh Street on Broadway-Greenlawn – was originally donated by developer Time Ridge Estates, but the plan was tabled after community opposition forced the development into dormancy. Then, about two years ago, a renewed push for the park began, and the rest is history.
“It was a long time coming,” Councilwoman Susan Berland said of the park. “You had a piece of property that was literally a field of weeds for years and now you have something that’s used every day by the people in the neighborhood that needed it, wanted it, and now they luckily have it.”
Today, Coral Park stretches over 2.8 acres and is home to a children’s playground, equipped with obstacles meant to encourage physical development in young people.
“[The playground] is also an innovative fitness theme park,” Petrone said. “The playground is appropriate for both toddlers and youth; it has innovative play zones that help develop upper body strength instead of the typical platforms and slides that you would see in many of the [other] parks.”
But kids aren’t the only ones benefiting from the town’s push to promote fitness. Lining the outskirts of the park is a half-mile long jogging track, with an adult fitness area and a full basketball court grouped next to the playground.
And that’s not all. Sandwiched in between everything is a pavilion fitted with tables and benches along with available tables for use with games like chess and checkers.
“That to me meets [the needs] for everyone,” Petrone said. “It’s nice to see seniors, children and young adults using something together. That’s really what a community is; that’s really what it’s all about.”
On Friday, Petrone was right: people of all ages flooded to the new park, some to the playground, others to the track, and the rest to the pavilion and basketball court.
Needless to say, the park was a hit.
“It’s beautiful… I call it my park,” said Demetria Wells, a woman who lives up the road from the park. “The neighborhood kids are not in the street anymore. They’re down here on the basketball court and on the playground so it’s actually very nice.”
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander (Thursday, June 26, 2014; A15)