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Municipal News

By Jill Runfola

The North Belle Vernon Community Bank Park recreation members have a dream for their facility—that all children, even those living with physical limitations, may utilize their park’s playground equipment.

NBV Park1
Pictured is a model of the plans showing what the future newly constructed NBV Park’s playground equipment will look like.

The NBV Recreation Commission is extremely motivated and committed to adding these handicapped-accessible additions, the last major improvement, under the leadership of R.J. Sokol, North Belle Vernon council president and chair of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The park, located at 702 Graham St., Belle Vernon, has reopened, having already undergone a major renovation; but now the committee has a burden for more immediate changes. These changes will transform North Belle Vernon Community Bank Park into one of the most amazing recreation facilities of its kind. However, Sokol does not want sole credit for his work; he says he “has extremely loyal and valuable friends,” whom he thanks, along with his wife, Lynn.

What groundbreaking additions will transform the park? They plan to install:
• A beautiful swing park with a wheelchair swing, and a glider designed to handle multiple wheelchairs at one time.
• Swings consisting of two adult/child swings facing one another in motion
• Two swings designed to assist those with muscle control issues
• A crossfit exercise station designed to be usable for both those with physical limitations and those wanting a good workout.

The project will get underway in May 2018.

NBV Park2
New park project workers include (l-r): Jesse Harwell, partner to Vielma; Alonzo Vielma, project general contractor; Lisa Pollock, NBV Borough secretary; R J Sokol, NBV Council President; and Mark Ford, Miracle Playgrounds.

The need for these changes came about last year. The NBV Recreation Commission members “witnessed sad moments [of disabled persons forced to sit on the sidelines] and decided to do something about it,” said Sokol. He noted that the members have been moved by how “extremely tough it is to imagine how these kids and adults feel to just sit and watch the attractions without the ability to enjoy themselves.”

This park is currently being used for organizational meetings, sporting game practices, individual use, and live entertainment. There are also park activities open to and enjoyable for all, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Light-Up Night, and Adopt-a-Pet Day. Current events are posted on the park’s Facebook page.

To support and assist this park achieve this incredible goal to become a park to accommodate all people, there are several ways:
• Buy a large year-round sign for $500/year. These signs are displayed at the park for all to see the supporter’s name.
• Make a monetary donation to the organization by making checks payable to NBV Recreation Commission. Keep in mind, no amount is too small or large.
• Help sponsor the upcoming golf outing on August 25 at the Madison Golf Club or participate in it.
• Donate a prize for the golf outing or raffle.

The NBV Recreation Commission wholeheartedly thanks everyone in advance for their support. They are asking for help from the public, because this project will total $85,000, which, unfortunately, the NBV Recreation Commission does not have.

For questions, contact R.J. Sokol at 724-929-2749 or visit NBV Community Bank Park on Facebook. Please send your donations to: NBV Recreation Commission, 503 Speers St., Belle Vernon, PA 15012.


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