By RICHARD F. BELISLE
8:38 PM EST, November 30, 2012
In 2010, Waynesboro borough officials applied for a $45,000 state grant to make improvements to the town’s nine-acre Memorial Park.
On Friday afternoon, they cut a ribbon in honor of the upgrades that grant plus some local in-kind contributions financed.
Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said borough maintenance crews did much of the work on the improvements.
The park was dedicated in 1949, the same year the Retreat, the quiet section where bronze plaques honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s wars, was dedicated.
About 20 local officials, members of Joseph Stickler American Legion Post 15 and residents attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Retreat section of the park.
The grant paid to complete the paved walkway around the park’s perimeter, for upgrades to park equipment, more park benches, a new fence around the baseball field and improved accessibility for handicapped visitors, Hamberger said.
New paving bricks replaced the failing slate base around the Retreat. The American Legion paid for that phase of the improvement project.
The park is used extensively during the warmer months by residents who enjoy its large lawn areas and take walks around the perimeter, as well as those who use the tennis courts and softball fields, Hamberger said.
Waynesboro Area Senior High School’s baseball team practices at the park’s ballfield, as do local Little Leagues, he said.
“The WAGS (Waynesboro Area Girls Softball) play on the ballfield in the summer,” Hamberger said.
Hamberger said it is rumored that Babe Ruth once hit a home run at the field during an exhibition game one summer.
Memorial Park is the largest of Waynesboro’s five parks, Hamberger said.
Bronze plaques on the large curved wall that protects the Retreat on three sides carry the names of local residents who lost their lives in wars from the American Revolution through Iraq and Afghanistan.
A count of the names showed that 18 died in World War I, 77 in World War II, 20 in Korea, 28 in Vietnam, and one each in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Civil War memorial on the wall does not list names or the number killed in that war.
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