Hamilton Park Honoring Fallen Veterans and
Long-Time Former Fire Chief Enjoys Fitting Restoration
This week, Hamilton Township celebrated the finishing touches on a much needed restoration of a prominent and historic Hamilton Square park that remembers veterans who lost their lives in service to our nation, as well as a long-time Hamilton Township Fire Chief.
Residents who pass by the bustling Hamilton Square intersection of Mercer Street and Nottingham Way or gather near the corner to enjoy the many local parades held throughout the year know the Bernard Foley Park, which serves as a local landmark, well.
It was 36 years ago, in 1977, when the “mini-park” at the corner of Mercer Street and Nottingham Way was dedicated in name to longtime Nottingham Fire Chief Bernard Foley, who served the organization for well over 30 years. At the time, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program helped to fund the park’s construction.
Two years later, an existing stone monument with plaques dedicated to Hamiltonians who lost their lives in service to our country during World War I and World War II – which originally sat in the middle of the modern day Mercer Street – was moved into its now permanent home inside the park.
And while the landmark has been enjoyed by many throughout the years, time began to take its toll on the park. With the unsettling of brick pavers, the natural growth of shrubbery beginning to block the view of the veterans’ memorial and old and damaged trees along its perimeter, work was needed to refurbish the park. In addition, repairs were needed to fix a leaking park fountain.
As a result, Hamilton Township decided it was time to undertake a restoration effort to maintain the park for future generations. Township capital budget funds, which are dedicated to long-term community assets such as roads, sewer infrastructure, park maintenance projects and needed vehicles or equipment, as well as available funds for tree plantings, were earmarked to fund the project.
In addition, the Township used the opportunity to also install an irrigation system to better maintain the park grounds (as no system previously existed) and installed new energy efficient LED lights, including those to illuminate the existing veterans’ memorial plaques.
And with some finishing touches still to come, like the installation of new park benches, Hamilton’s commitment to preserving the landmark will allow residents to enjoying the park for years to come.
“Bernard Foley Park is a true Hamilton Township landmark that preserves the history of Hamilton Square and the memory of Hamiltonians who made the ultimate sacrifice for the liberties and freedom we all enjoy as Americans. With this important effort to refurbish the grounds, current residents and future generations of Hamiltonians will be able enjoy Bernard Foley Park,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly A. Yaede.