$189K renovation latest in Lion’s Den Park upkeep, quality-of-life improvements across Orange

Published 12:06 am Monday, April 24, 2023

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Orange Lion’s Den Park is getting another facelift, this time to the parking lot.

Beginning May 15 residents visiting the park will need to utilize the alternative parking area between the playground and Roberts Ford Dealership off Main Avenue.

Alison Clary, communications and marketing coordinator for the City of Orange, said the current parking lot has sustained increased utilization over the past few years.

“This has caused general deterioration, resulting in potholes, uneven ground and standing water in areas of the lot,” Clary said. “The refurbished parking lot will be safer and more accessible for all visitors to the park.

“The completed parking lot will be a major improvement to the curb appeal of Lion’s Den Park and, more importantly, safer and more accessible for all visitors who come to enjoy the venue.”

This welcome news for residents like Chris Kovatch, who said it is great seeing all the improvements that have been happening around town.

“This park has been a staple for fun for decades, and the city’s commitment to continuing tradition is very much appreciated,” he said.

The city spent half a million dollars remodeling the decades-old park located at 1802 Main Street in 2020 to ensure durability and accessibility for future generations.

“The renovation about to take place is another step in continuing to make the improvements necessary to give citizens great quality of life opportunities,” Mayor Larry Spears Jr. said. “The park has been redone; the pavilion redone. There’s a party there every weekend — a birthday party, family reunion, you name it.”

The park features padded walkways, covered sitting areas and playground equipment for specific age groups, as well as inclusive play areas for those with disabilities.

Orange Events Manager Leigh Ann Harrell said she is grateful for all those dedicated to improving different areas in the city.

“This is going to vastly improve the experience of all visitors including the elderly, handicapped, moms with strollers, etc.,” she said “Any improvements to the city not only make it a better place to live, but a better and more desirable place to visit.”

The city hopes the $189,000 project, funded from the city’s general fund, is completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. This effort is weather permitting, city leaders stress.

Orange Lion’s Park is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

— Written by Chrissie Mouton