Every Friday evening during the summer, the skies above New Hope Borough glow bright with fireworks. These breathtaking displays, sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, attract thousands of spectators each week. People line the riverbanks, fill the small parks, and traverse the bridge that connects New Hope to New Jersey.
New Hope is a small community, in both size and population. Because New Hope does not have much landmass, every small parcel of green counts. Keystone Fund grants have been used to create what the borough calls “pocket parks,” small green spaces within the community. There are two located along the Delaware River, and one that straddles the railroad tracks. The latter, Lanape Park, is the jewel of New Hope. It features picnic benches, a gazebo, and a tranquil waterfall, which are perfect for peaceful contemplation and enjoying the outdoors.
Borough Manager John Burke explained how Keystone funding has been invaluable in improving the quality of life in the borough. “Boroughs like New Hope with small populations can only accomplish projects like this with the support of state matching funds.”
Louis Licitra, president of the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, likes to take long walks in the borough and notices that the borough’s parks often have people milling about. “People linger a little longer because of the parks,” he said, “and the more they stay in town, the more likely they’ll spend money in town.”
The parks have become a focal point for the borough, and according to Licitra, have jump-started the community’s revitalization efforts. “It has become a domino effect where these parks have inspired additional improvements within the community.”
Although the parks are small, they offer a spectacular view of the summer firework displays and add essential green spaces to a small urban community.