In 2012, the idea was hatched to create Bethany Beach’s first-ever town park. This July, the Town of Bethany Beach officially broke ground. The park will be called Central Park in celebration of New York’s Central Park, as well as its location on Central Avenue in Bethany Beach. Oasis Design Group are the planners behind the park and stated the park will be six acres, making it the largest public open space along the Route 1 corridor and serves as the prime gateway into the town of Bethany Beach.
(Credit: Cape Gazette)
The town and the community are equally excited for the park to open. Mayor Lew Killmer says, “the new park will showcase even more of Bethany’s beauty. People say this is a nice alternative to our wonderful beach. Our beach brings them here and I hope the park keeps them here.” According to their website, Oasis Design Group facilitated public meetings to present concepts and refine the park’s program and worked with Bethany Beach to analyze the programmatic needs of the community into an agreed-upon program for the development of Central Park’s elements. Oasis prepared schematic and design development drawings, developed an overall master plan that the community could implement over a period of time, and preserved all of the existing trees on site and enhanced them with additional tree plantings. Some of the shrubs and trees planted in Central Park are the Summersweet Clethra, White Oak, October Glory Maple, Inkberry Holly, Sour Gum, Red Oak, and Northern Bayberry. Throughout the process, the town ensured that the community was involved — it is after all — a park for the people — and should have what they want and need. Mayor Killmer and the town asked people to vote on what the park should look like on the town’s website.
(Credit: WMDT )
The park is promised to include playground areas, fountains, picnic pavilions, and walking paths, as well as free parking. The project is expected to cost 1.14 million dollars and is scheduled to be completed by December 2019. Central Park is located at the corner of routes 1 and 26.
In addition to Central Park, Bethany Beach recently launched other projects in the town, as well, including summertime parking, comfort stations, and erosion prevention. The town approved a $265,000 purchase of new parking pay stations and a four-year maintenance agreement for the stations at their January 2019 meeting. It came as no surprise everyone voted in favor of the new pay stations, as the old ones were added in 2010, and had a nine-year lifespan, making them outdated this year. This spring, Bethany Beach addressed erosion concerns on the Loop Canal in downtown Bethany. In another 5-0 vote, the town approved a $35,000 contract to install geotextile fabric and stone rip-rap along the northern perimeter of the canal. Earlier this year, comfort stations were renovated. Their appearance was improved, they were expanded upon and there was much-needed landscaping done. Finally, there was an increase in dog waste violations from $25 for a first offense and $75 for a second offense, to $100 for a first offense and $200 for a second offense within a 12-month period. This vote was not passed to deter people from bringing their dogs to Bethany Beach, but rather it was passed to ensure the downtown area is pleasant for everyone.