Hightstown comes off the bench to shine

After years of sun and rain and snow, the benches in Hightstown Borough’s parks have begun to show their age.

That’s why the Hightstown Woman’s Club has launched a bench-replacement project in the four parks – Association Park, Dawes Park, Memorial Park and Rocky Brook Park.

Residents, businesses and organizations can purchase a bench and a commemorative plaque through the Hightstown Woman’s Club. The bench and the plaque cost $685.

Hightstown Woman’s Club member Barbara Harrington suggested the project to the club last year, after she restored the club’s own bench in Memorial Park.

“I looked at the club’s bench one day and I thought, ‘I could fix it up.’ I’m an artist, and I like things to look nice. I thought it would be something nice to do,” Harrington said.

Meanwhile, Harrington looked around at the town’s four parks and noticed that many of the benches were in poor condition. She counted the number of benches that needed some attention, and spoke to the club about fixing them.

But restoring the benches would be a daunting task, so the club approached Hightstown Borough officials and outlined a bench replacement project. The Hightstown Borough Council threw its support behind the project.

“Replacing the worn-out benches is a way for residents, businesses and groups to have a stronger connection with Hightstown, by buying a bench with a commemorative plaque,” Harrington said.

All of the replacement benches are made of recycled material that will not rot or need to be painted.

Since the bench replacement project was launched in March, 10 of the 25 available benches have been purchased, she said. There is one bench available in Memorial Park, next to the Hightstown Memorial Branch of the Mercer County Library System.

Four benches are available in Association Park, at Grant and Park avenues, and four benches are available at Rocky Brook Park, off Bank Street. The benches are traditional redwood in color.

At Dawes Park on Railroad Avenue, there are six benches waiting to be claimed. Four of the benches are traditional redwood, and the other two benches can be purchased in red or blue.

A color sample board and an order form are available at the Hightstown Memorial Branch of the Mercer County Library System at 114 Franklin Avenue. The library is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Order forms for the benches also are available on the Hightstown Borough website at www.hightstownborough.com, under the “Notices” tab.

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