new Hillside Park in Newark

The city of Newark now has more than three dozen parks in its system, but the newest one opened at the site of the former University of Delaware Rodney dorms might be its most unique.

Parks and Recreation Director Joe Spadafino said they wanted to differentiate Hillside Park from the city's other sites.

City of Newark opens 37th park at site of former Rodney Dorms

"We wanted to do something that was a little unique from all of our other parks that we had in Newark," said Parks and Recreation Director Joe Spadafino. "We have 37 parks within Newark, and a lot of them have very similar swing sets and playgrounds, but we wanted something that was going to be unique and different for people to enjoy to take us into the next century."

In addition to the playground, a large pond serves as an important part of the city's storm water management system while still being aesthetically pleasing.

"What we wanted to do was make it pretty," said Public Works and Water Resources Director Tim Filasky. "We actually have a couple of features in it that are water quality features that are bubblers that keep the pond aerated to make sure we can have aquatic life live in the pond, and that helps water quality."

Filasky said the pond worked well this past summer during two major rain events including the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Newark resident Barbara Morris was named the winner of a city sponsored contest to name the park, which brought in six hundred suggestions.

A formal ribbon cutting is expected to be held in the spring of 2022.

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