CLARKS SUMMIT — Some pint-sized superheroes recently got a kick out of the new pocket park.
John Smith of Serenity Martial Arts Studio recently held an end of summer party for his young students Aug. 22. The theme was “superheroes” and the setting was The Finish Shop Pocket Park on Depot Street.
The Saturday afternoon and evening party included pizza, a movie and karate class at the studio, followed by outdoor activities at the park.
“Today we’re doing this as an end of summer party. Water games – water, water, water… It’s called Superhero Night,” Smith, a fifth degree blackbelt, said.
The children who attended the party are Smith’s students and ranged in age from 4 to 7. Among the fun and games were bobbing for apples, balloon toss, “drip, drip, drop,” and a squirt gun battle.
Brianne McCann, 5, said the party is fun because, “I get to hang out with my friends.”
Smith is the first person to reserve the park that opened earlier this year, according to Virginia Kehoe, borough manager.
“That was the first one (request),” Kehoe said.
Sarah Dawgert, Clarks Summit, approached Clarks Summit borough council with her idea for a pocket park in a letter she drafted in January 2013. Dawgert saw a need for a mini-green space in the downtown area, where residents and visitors could relax with a cup of coffee, read a book, meet friends or host an event. The land was donated by the Maria Family and the multi-generational and multi-purpose park became a reality as result of a grant from the Lackawanna County Re-invest Program, private donations, and help from Mayor Patty Lawler, borough council and volunteers.
“I am thrilled that kids had such a great time at the park. I have seen people starting to hang out in the park in small groups or individually and people using the pocket library,” she said in an email following the party.
She said Smith’s party was one of the ways she envisioned how the community would use the pocket park.
“One of the ideas behind the park was that it could foster a sense of community,” saud Dawgert. “The more people are in the park, as part of an event or just on their own, the more community grows and the more people will feel a sense of pride in their community and the park.”
For more information regarding use of the pocket park, Kehoe said to call the borough office at 570-586-9316.