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IHeartHarrison Unveils Park Renovation To Kick Off Group's Work

Harrison Department of Public Works employees installed benches donated to iHeartHarrison at the renovated Wilding Park this week. Photo Credit: Provided/iHeartHarrison
Cofounders of iHeartHarrison include, front row from left: Madeleine Petermann, Cristina Coco and Jill Valente; back row from left, Sara Benson, Whitney Okun and Amy Ensign. Photo Credit: Provided
The group's new logo. Photo Credit: Provided

HARRISON, N.Y. -- There's a newly formed coalition of Harrison mothers dedicated to improving public spaces and cultivating pride in the community.

On Sunday, they'll unveil a renovated Wilding Park during a free celebration along Oakland Avenue, behind Harrison Shopping Center, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (The rain date is June 14.)

"iHeartHarrison has big plans for our town and they are gaining quite a bit of traction and support from the community,'' said Lucie Dufour, a spokeswoman for the group. "They are doing remarkable work in a very short amount of time and plan on intertwining themselves with the Harrison community for years to come."

Their first project was to upgrade and refurbish Wilding Park, which is about 90 percent complete.

Supported by iHeartHarrison organizers and their families, local businesses and civic leaders, the project at Wilding Park includes: painting the dining shelter and replacing its roof, painting the restroom structure, installing a water fountain, new trash and recycling receptacles, replacing benches and picnic tables, painting playground swings and adding new plants, flower baskets and landscaping. 

Sunday's celebration features family-friendly karaoke music, facepainting, balloons, pizza, ice cream and other snacks. Children will be invited to stamp their handprints as part of a new mural that will enliven the exterior walls of the restroom building.

“Harrison is a beautiful place to live, thanks to the majestic natural landscape and the kind-hearted people who call it home,” said Jill Valente, one of the iHeartHarrison co-founders. “But the physical condition of some of our public and commercial areas doesn’t always reflect how special our community really is"

Valente said the new group is committed to ensuring that the look and feel of the shared spaces in Harrison "matches the spirit of the people who live here, one project at a time, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have the opportunity to be starting with the renovation of Wilding Park.”

“Great things are happening thanks to the efforts of iHeartHarrison,” Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont said in a statement. “I am ecstatic to see that, through cooperation and team work, volunteers and town personnel will be revitalizing our beloved Wilding Park."

Cristina Coco, an iHeartHarrison co-founder and longtime Harrison resident, said, “Wilding Park is just the beginning. It is our sincere hope and commitment that the example we are setting can be a model for many other projects to come."

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