If I were a Chester City government official, I’d be livid after picking up the paper yesterday and reading how $3.4 million is being spent on parks and no money is coming to a Chester park. The county created an Open Space, Recreation and Greenway Plan in 2015, but, to my knowledge, they haven’t got around to Chester in those 6-years. Or, maybe they have and none of us know about it. 

What I do know is Deshong Park looks a mess and has looked that way for decades. To add insult to injury, there’s the old clock tower on the corner of Deshong Park at 9th and Ave of the States that hasn’t worked in 30-years. (I really don’t know how long that clock hasn’t worked but will someone either tear it down or fix it. It’s the most embarrassing landmark a city could have right at the gateway to what’s left of our business district).

An attempt to add some art to the broken Deshong clock a few years ago

It’s always been difficult to determine who makes decisions about Deshong Park but we know it’s under Delaware County control. The county’s Industrial Development Authority earmarked $20,000 to keep the grass cut this summer thanks to a few of us insisting that it not look like an eyesore (and some folks outside of Chester bitched about that). The park is still far from usable as huge limbs and trash litter the park and the homeless have made it their refuge. There’s no lights, benches, fields, playground, paths, or parking and the lone dumpster behind the abandoned museum is always overrun with bulk trash. 

Yet, Rose Tree Park gets $1.9 million for a new playground in an already gorgeous park. A park in Darby gets $2.27 million and Upland Park gets $1.3 million. My favorite quote from the article is… “Those two parks (Darby and Upland), they’re smaller but they touch a really far denser population so they will be serving many, many more people and typically, those are areas that have not been as well serviced with parks.”

Let’s focus on the term ‘have not been as well serviced with parks.’ SMH

Maybe Chester is next on the list of ‘not been as well serviced with parks.’ 

Trust me, $1 million invested in Deshong Park would turn a wasteland into an attractive city park that sits directly across the street from a very populated senior living facility and right on one of the busiest intersections of the city.

If no one else says it, I’ll say it here. CHESTER LOVES PARKS, TOO!

I definitely look for things to change with Chester parks starting in 2022. I’ll keep you posted.