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Riverfront park in Susquehanna dedicated to Ira Reynolds

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison explains the work done to make the land useable and turning it into a beautiful space for people to visit.

SUSQUEHANNA, Pa. — Several years' worth of work was unveiled Tuesday as state and local officials cut the ribbon on Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park in Susquehanna County. It was the official unveiling of the 14-acre community park, which was historically part of the former Erie railyard.

The work began in 2017 as part of a group effort by local and state officials to turn unused space into community space.

In addition to the state covering the cleanup costs, the borough of Susquehanna was awarded $250,000 in state funding for walking trails, lighting, fencing, a pavilion, and a volleyball court.

"It took a lot of hard work. It took a lot of teamwork. It took the entire human community working together, but we're finally here, and the great thing is it's only just the beginning," said Susquehanna County Commissioner Judy Herschel.

The park is named after Ira Reynolds, a borough native and the oldest Boy Scout in America. Reynolds passed away at the age of 108, and his love of nature was something many remember him by.

Gannon Furness is a local Boy Scout whose Eagle Scout project was to create the stone sign for all to see when they arrived at the park.

"We would come back here, and it was stuffed back behind one of the pillars of the bridge. Nobody knew it was here, and I always thought it was such an impressive looking stone it should be out and be visible," Furness said.

It took a lot of work to transform the 14 acres of this park into what it is today, and those involved in the project say they couldn't have done it without the community's help.

"We knew we had people that would come when this started, and they did. It shows right now. The town is in a revitalization that hasn't been seen in over 30 or 40 years," said Roy Williams, borough council president.

There are plans for other projects at Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park, including expanding the area and hosting community events.