Pocket park progressing

First Posted: 4/13/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — Gale Jaeger said she came on board to help Mayor Patty Lawler plan an Inaugural Mayor’s Brunch because Lawler is tireless in her efforts to revitalize Clarks Summit borough.

“I’ve known Patty for a long time and I find her to be very charismatic in addition to being civic-minded. When she asked me (to help) there is nothing I’d rather do than help her in any way,” said Jaeger, brunch chairperson. “Mayor Lawler decided she’d like to have an event that would bring people from the Abingtons together. She came up with the idea of a brunch and at the same time it (the event) will raise money for the Pocket Park…”

The brunch will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, April 18 at the Ramada Inn, 820 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit. Funds raised at the event will be used to put the finishing touches to The Finish Shop Pocket Park located at the beginning of Depot Street on a parcel of land donated by the Maria Family and funded by a $20,000 Re-invest Grant from Lackawanna County. According Lawler, the Pocket Park project has been funded exclusively by grants and donations.

“The $20,000 Re-invest Grant came available right before I left council and became mayor. When I was a merchant and would walk past that lot; I just knew it was destined for greatness,” said Lawler. “I knew somehow we’d become connected and connected with a lot of vision, community involvement and a current toward positive energy to bring improvement to that part of town.”

Clarks Summit native Sarah Dawgert brought the idea of the handicapped-accessible communal multi-generational outdoor space to borough council via a letter she drafted in January 2013 and then was invited to present her idea at a borough meeting. Pocket parks can be found in urban, suburban or rural areas, on public or private land and offer a green place to sit outdoors.

“Hopefully, by summer people will be utilizing the park…and that community groups and businesses may be holding classes, providing concerts or art shows or other events for our community,” said Dawgert in an e-mail.

Work is currently underway to lay a pathway through the park that will make the green space accessible all year long. When completed, the current phase will include sidewalks, fence, gardens, benches, shed and pavilion placement and a “much anticipated” pocket library.

“Picture a large birdhouse-looking structure with a door that people can either take a book or leave a book. It’s really cool and a great way to promote community and then people can grab a book to read while at the park and/or to take with them,” she said. Stepping stones painted by members of the community will also be installed as permanent art.

Some of the items on the brunch menu buffet will be brioche French toast, country eggs scrambled with fresh basil, glazed ham-off-the-bone and bacon, and garden asparagus with lemon, and seasonal fruit.

Guest speaker at the brunch is WNEP-TV anchor and reporter Sarah Buynovsky. Attendees can also expect to find raffle baskets, a 50/50, door prizes, musical entertainment and awards.

Tickets are $20 and available at Everything Natural, Clarks Summit; NBT Bank, Clarks Green and the Clarks Summit borough building, second floor. For more information, contact Gale Jaeger at galejaeger@gmail.com or 570-586-1833.

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