The City Council approved a master plan for amenities in the city’s new Langford Park at a March 30 meeting. The plan offers a blueprint for how improvements would be phased in once funding becomes available.
The city purchased the property at 1174 Pine Grove Ave. in April 2020 with the intention of adding a new public park. Before the purchase, the property belonged to the Langford family, who had owned the home located on the property since 1930. The park is named in honor of Cpl. Robert “Bob” C. Langford, who served in the Vietnam War.
The city has since held two open houses to gather input from the public, according to the master plan presentation. On Feb. 5, the city held a public meeting to present the master plan to the public for feedback before going before the City Council.
City Parks and Recreation Department Director Brian Borden said improvements to the park would be made in three phases. The first phase will include improvements such as mass grading or leveling the surface of the park, tree relocation and updates to stormwater infrastructure. Phase One will also include such additions as parallel parking stalls, seating areas along the west edge of the park, a loop walkway and a community lawn.
Phase Two includes plantings and the construction of a playground. Phase Three would include a pavilion, a seating area in the southeast corner of the park, a bocce ball court, and a memorial to commemorate Cpl. Langford.
While there currently is no funding for the park updates, Councilmember Madeleine Simmons said working through improvements in phases would allow the city to work on individual projects as funding comes in. According to documents from the meeting, the estimated cost for improvements to the park is $954,793.80
“We’re looking at this as a phased-in approach because this project is not a fully funded project,” Simmons said. “When we got the initial quote for what the price would be to complete the entire park, it was expensive. I didn’t want … for the park to just sit there with nothing happening until that was fully funded.”
Brookhaven Heights resident Bill Roberts spoke in favor of the master plan during the public comment section of the meeting.
“We’re very excited about seeing [the master plan],” Roberts said. “I can’t wait for things to take shape over there.”