By Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation
The Moorestown Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of revamping the playground at Strawbridge Lake on Haines Drive. The Moorestown Lunch Rotary has partnered with the Rec. Department to kick off the revitalization with a contribution of $5,000.
Paul Canton, last year’s Lunch Rotary president, Wendy Holden, the current Rotary President, Sylvia Bidwell, Rotary Committee Chairperson, Moorestown Mayor Nicole Gillespie (and Lunch Rotary member) and Parks and Rec.’s Director, Theresa Miller all convened on site Friday, Sept. 25 for an informal “big check” ceremony. The $5,000 check helped to fund the newly installed swing set, which is equipped with an ADA swing and a “generation swing” (adult faces the child). Masks may have covered faces, but the smiles and sense of accomplishment in getting this beautiful park back in shape were clear.
The park has been re-graded, and the 40-year old playground equipment removed. The adjacent pond was dredged and will be getting new benches. New playground equipment will be installed soon.
Paul Canton was president when the Lunch Rotary became involved in the project.
“What I wanted to do as a club was take some action that was local,” Canton said. “Rotary is very global, but I wanted to be able to do something that would have us make an impact that would be visible here in town and when Sylvia brought it up, I thought it was perfect.”
The Moorestown Lunch Rotary has 85 members and will celebrate 100 years in 2025. They are very involved in the local community, sponsoring many service-oriented programs from a lend-a-hand diaper program for the underserved community, a rotary high school youth group to giving every third grader a dictionary.
“I look at our club as being so community oriented and really trying to reach out to all the different organizations and try to support them,” said current president Wendy Holden. “We do a lot of local support for many non-profits and even individuals. Sometimes the members will hear about someone who is down on their luck, and we’ll bring it to the attention of the members who pitch in and help.”
The relationship between Moorestown Lunch Rotary and the Parks and Recreation continues to be a strong one. They will be donating benches for Strawbridge Lake next year.
“Doing projects like this is just a good way to connect to the community and Parks and Rec. allows us to do that whether it’s sponsoring a dog park or doing park clean ups,” Canton said.