CKNA revealed as donor for Rock Creek Park improvement project

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

By Greg Lowe

Special to the Tribune

The donor of a substantial amount for improvements to Rock Creek Park, originally announced as "anonymous," was revealed as CKNA at a short ceremony in the park Tuesday morning.

Following the 20-year Vision Plan for Lewisburg released earlier this year, the Friends of Lewisburg Parks is forming to address the parks and green space in the city and has made plans to begin with improvements to Rock Creek Park.

The Vision Plan highlighted the Lewisburg Parks and Recreation system as an asset to the community and stated that preserving and building upon this asset should take place over the next 20 years.

The Friends of Lewisburg Parks is a group of volunteers working in cooperation with city officials to create a public and private partnership to improve upon the parks system in Lewisburg beginning with the Rock Creek Park project.

Officials with Calsonic Kansei North America became involved in the project and saw the opportunity to give back to Lewisburg to celebrate their 30th anniversary in Lewisburg.

Discussions between company officials, the city, and the Friends of Lewisburg Parks developed into a plan to improve Rock Creek Park as an initial project that the groups hope to grow into more projects in other parks and green spaces throughout the city.

The City of Lewisburg hired HFR Design to develop an improvement plan for Rock Creek Park that includes underground utilities, tiered seating along the hillside, stage improvements, and other upgrades to be completed in phases over the next year. The plan was presented to officials at CKNA and the company offered an initial donation and a challenge to its fellow industries in Lewisburg.

"Calsonic Kansei North America announces that the company will offer the first $50,000 for the Rock Creek Park project in honor of its 30th anniversary of operating in Lewisburg," said Eric Huch, Chief Operations Officer for CKNA. "We offer this initial donation along with a challenge to the other industries in Lewisburg to donate to this project and help to make Rock Creek Park even more of a centerpiece of downtown Lewisburg."

Huch went on to say that if the target fund for this project is met by donations from industries, businesses and individuals by the spring of 2015 that CKNA will donate an additional $50,000 to the project.

The Friends of Lewisburg Parks will use this initial donation to seek more volunteers to help continue the fundraising effort needed to reach a target funding goal by the spring of next year.

The Rock Creek Park project comes as the City of Lewisburg is seeking grant funding to improve the 1st Avenue North corridor that connects the Lewisburg square to Rock Creek Park. The plan will be to upgrade the sidewalks, add bike lanes, put in underground utilities, and make the street lights match those on the square. The two projects together will be developed and implemented over the next year and are expected to make a dramatic improvement to the downtown area of the city.

Once the Rock Creek Park project and the 1st Avenue corridor project are completed, the Friends of Lewisburg Parks will choose another park or green space area in the city in which to develop a project in accordance with the Lewisburg Vision Plan.