Clayton dedicates Main Street veterans park

On Aug. 1, a ceremony was held to dedicate the new Clayton Veterans Park project. (Submitted photo/Kent County Levy Court)

CLAYTON — The project took more than three years from the initial idea to fundraising and construction, but a collaborative effort has brought the Clayton Veterans Park to completion.

The town of Clayton hosted a dedication ceremony that drew a crowd of roughly 125 people Aug. 1, recapping the partnership of elected officials, area companies and government entities to erect the pocket park at 255 Main St. The project was completed in 2019, just prior to Thanksgiving.

The project cost just under $62,000, but was defrayed by donations of work and services by companies, according to stakeholders. Additional funds raised covered associated costs, officials said.

The park includes a four-sided town clock, a gazebo, walkways, park benches and lighting.

The First State Young Marines color guard presents flags at the dedication of the new Clayton Veterans Park on Aug. 1. (Submitted photo/Kent County Levy Court)

According to the town, in a grant request to Kent County Levy Court on Oct. 3, approximately $57,000 had been raised for the project, including a state of Delaware grant of $51,986 secured by Rep. Bill Carson, D-Smyrna, and Sen. Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna.

In addition, Kent County Levy Court approved a disbursement of $10,000 from its Community Contribution Fund to support the project.

According to organizers, the idea was hatched during a town of Clayton Economic Development Committee meeting to enhance to municipality’s business district.

Committee member Eric Young initially proposed a town clock somewhere on Main Street in summer 2016, and member Ed Ide later designed a park to accompany it. A fundraising campaign from fall 2016 to spring 2019 secured a little over $5,000, which was followed by the county and state contributions.