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Newly Named Railroad Avenue Park Opens; Ribbon Cutting Planned

Middle Township has renamed Rio Grande Park as Railroad Avenue Park

By Press Release

RIO GRANDE – After an extensive rehabilitation process that Middle Township began planning more than three years ago, almost everything is new at Rio Grande Park, even its name. 

According to a release, the renovated space has been renamed Railroad Avenue Park, after its location. The community park, near Route 47, is already open for use, but the township will make it official at a ribbon cutting, at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29. 

Though Covid-related delays in construction and equipment deliveries pushed the reopening back, officials believe it was worth the wait. 

The park has plenty of features for children, bicyclists, sports enthusiasts and even pets. A dog park, with separate entrances for large and small dogs, is among the most anticipated additions to the two-acre space. 

Two bright new playgrounds also include a swing set, jungle gym, slides and a “discovery cave.” The basketball court has been upgraded, and eight pickleball courts have been added. 

New gazebos will provide shaded areas to sit at benches and picnic tables, while an open lawn area can accommodate community gatherings, even socially distanced ones. 

Renovations also made the park a more-valuable connection to the Cape May County Bike Path. There are bike racks, a bike service station, with air and tools, and water fountains, where bicyclists can refill their bottles. 

“The township aims to elevate the recreation experience for residents and visitors. The wide range of options for play, sports, and relaxation at Railroad Avenue Park advances our goal of sustaining a family-friendly environment,” stated Director of Grants and Economic Development Nancy Sittineri. 

Grants from Cape May County programs provided the majority of the funding for the $1.7 million renovations.  

The township applied for a Cape May County Open Spaces grant, in August 2017, and was awarded $1,290,630. Last February, an additional $193,631.25 was awarded through the Cape May County creative placemaking plan initiative, which incentivizes projects that encourage community engagement and help unify design throughout the county. 

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