WALLINGFORD — A project to turn Robert Wallace Park into the “Legacy Gardens” won’t be completed until next April, according to Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman David Gelo.
The project at Wallace Park, also known as the gateway to Wallingford for its proximity to Route 15 and Quinnipiac Street, consists of installing benches, flowerbeds, fencing and plaques donated by local ethnic and civic organizations. The town will also work with the Wallingford Garden Club to create the flowerbeds.
The goal of the “Legacy Gardens” is to be able to display the vast amount of cultural diversity in Wallingford.
Planning and funding for the project, which will cost about $12,000, is complete, Gelo said. However, the project “was put on the back burner” because other major projects in town had a higher priority to be completed, he said.
Those other projects include working on a temporary parking lot on the Wooding-Caplan property, and the renovations to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park.
“The work that has to be done by Public Works was pushed back because of the priority list,” Gelo said. “We were pushed back until spring.”
The scope of work for the town’s Public Works Department at Wallace Park includes raising the walkway and land to create the flowerbeds. Gelo said when Public Works can begin working at the park, the project should be completed in a month.
So far, the newest addition to the park are benches. Gelo said fencing and a sprinkler system also still has to be installed. But work won’t continue at Wallace Park until the Public Works Department finishes the other major projects, Gelo added.
“Until we can do it all at once, we’re not going to do anything, unfortunately,” he said. “We were so excited.”
Sharing the commission’s excitement is Carol Wallace, whose great-great-grandfather was Robert Wallace, the park’s namesake and founder of Wallace Silversmiths. While she was disappointed the project won’t be completed until next year, she’s looking forward to the “Legacy Gardens.”
“The town has been the beneficiary of not just Wallace as a manufacturing company, but many, many (other) companies and ethnic groups in the town,” she said. “The town is all about diversity and that’s what the plan is.”
“I know over time, Wallace employed people from an incredibly diverse workforce. And I know how attached and how fondly my predecessors felt about the people that actually made their businesses run. They would be delighted to see their collective heritages showcased.”