Then and Now: Town Park
We bring you this week's feature on a special day.
Almost everyone in Wilmington knows where to find Town Park. Few residents, however, know the history behind Town Park and the ball field that it is home to.
In 1937 the National Youth Administration, or N.Y.A. for short, chose this site at the Southern tip of town for an athletic field which, at the time, was laid out for both baseball and football.
The group employed ten local men, ranging in age from 18 to 25, who might have otherwise found it difficult to find seasonal jobs. The group was trained to complete the project and well know local landscaper, Larry Cushing, oversaw their work.
The Town Park project itself served several purposes. First, a new sports field would, undoubtedly, encourage participation in outdoor sports. Second, a new athletic field would attract residents to the Southern section of town.
Most importantly, however, was the hope was that by, using the skills they acquired working at Town Park, the group of ten could learn a trade and, eventually, use it to support their families.
Today, Town Park is home to Aprile Field, home territory for The Wilmington High School Girls Softball Team. During the winter, Town Park’s hills also serve as a gathering place for sledders of all ages.
Historical information for this article obtained from “Wilmington Scrapbook” by Mary Gowling Swain, available at The Wilmington Memorial Library.