One important advocate for the park was not able to attend. D-Day veteran Tony Koutzoukis is in the hospital, according to Ray Silva of the Veterans Council. “Tony is not doing so well,” Silva told the gathering. But he added that Koutzoukis, who earned a Bronze Star, had passed on a message.
“He said, ‘Please go there and give them my thanks.’”
Ginny Campbell, of the nearby Peabody House affordable housing, declared, “I’m fortunate my apartment looks out on the park ... on trees and grass. You don’t know how many people use this park every day. I do. ... We’re looking forward to a summer full of activity.”
The park includes a circular walkway that some older residents already walk each day. There are benches for rest. Granite boulders provide a play area for small children. And decking leads to an elevated stage that can be used for events, including concerts.
The grounds, meanwhile, have been landscaped in anticipation of surviving the occasional flood.
Bettencourt took time out to salute former Mayor Mike Bonfanti and several others in city government who helped make the park a reality. Moreover, the mayor noted that the spot can be used by the library for outdoor activities, including everything from art exhibitions, poetry readings and dance performances.