New Park Planned for Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth plans new city park

Sister-city garden plan blossoms into $100,000 project

By Ryan Mavity This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RYAN MAVITY PHOTO

THE WESTERN AREA off Rehoboth Beach's Lake Gerar has been targeted as the spot for a possible park paying tribute to sister city, Greve in Chianti, Italy.

Rehoboth Beach plans to hon­or its sister city, Greve in Chianti, Italy, not only by planting a gar­den, but by establishing a new park celebrating the relationship between the two cities.

Spearheading the project is Commissioner Pat Coluzzi, who hopes the garden will be open by summer 2013.

The cost of the project, de­signed by RPZ Designs of Marl­ton, N.J., has been estimated at $100,000 and the project will see a complete revamping of the western park off Lake Gerar. Re­hoboth Beach Sister Cities Asso­ciation, which has been out front in cementing the relationship be­tween Rehoboth and Greve, is sponsoring the project.

In April, a delegation from Re­hoboth went to Greve to cele­brate the two-year anniversary of the signing of the sister cities agreement. As part of the festivi­ties, Greve erected a garden and a plaque commemorating the re­lationship. It’s a bond that began in 2008 with a monument to Ital­ian explorer and Greve native Giovanni da Verrazzano at the Boardwalk and Olive Avenue.

Verrazzano is believed to have explored the coast of Delaware in 1524 during his voyage along the Atlantic Coast.

Coluzzi said the plan is to open the park by the Greve delega­tion’s June 2013 visit to Re­hoboth. The park is still in its de­sign phase but will be located on the west end of Lake Gerar across from Bad Hair Day.

Coluzzi said the theme of the park is Garden of the Navigators, tying into the Verrazzano con­nection, complete with a com­pass and kiosks about Verraz­zano and his voyage, as well as picnic tables and activities for kids, she said.

Coluzzi said the project would clean up ivy and brush from the site while planting new trees. She said the city has $7,000 in the budget for the project, but most of the project will be paid for with grants and private fundrais­ing.

Commissioner Lorraine Zellers said she likes the design and the idea of the park, although there are still issues to be worked out such as how it will be paid for and maintained.

Zellers, who spearheaded the recent Rehoboth in Bloom proj­ect that planted a garden in front of City Hall and flower baskets at Lake Gerar Bridge, said the proj­ect would improve the area, but she called for more cost and maintenance information before moving forward.

Commissioner Stan Mills said the process was being rushed. The concept was first presented at the Sept. 21 commissioners’ meeting, which is not a work­shop where the commissioners and the public could discuss the issue and come back with ques­tions.

Mills said while the plans do call for a beautiful garden, the project is oversized and perhaps in the wrong location. In addi­tion, the long-term maintenance and labor costs are not yet deter­mined, he said.

Commissioner Patrick Gossett said the park would be a great improvement to the property and a huge asset to the city. He said while issues regarding main­tenance still need to be worked out, he supports the project and the great work done by Re­hoboth Sister Cities.