By SOPHIE GORMAN ORIANI — Despite the dropping temperatures, city residents are out in full force to enjoy the new amenities at Hyatt Park. The recently installed features at the park include a shaded stage, many more picnic tables and benches, a musical playground, and strings of lights along the Hamilton Street side of the park.

Renovations to Hyatt Park are taking place in two phases. During a Nov. 7 interview, Lesley Riddle, the director of public works for the city of Hyattsville, said phase one is complete. This phase included electrical and concrete work as well as the benches, musical playground and stage. The sidewalk leading from Jefferson Street to the playground was extended across the park to Hamilton Street.

Riddle anticipates phase two starting in early spring 2020. Phase two will involve the installation of the scramble, some low-level lighting and a decorative fence along Hamilton Street. Riddle says the plan is to have the stringers and pickets installed professionally, but leave the installation of the slats as a community building event.

Construction has been going “amazingly well,” Riddle said. The installation has been overseen by Tara George, the assistant project manager for Hyattsville’s Department of Public Works.

“[The renovations] made a big difference,” said Riddle. “The space looks so much more open.” 

The Hyattsville farmers market, which took a summer off due to low foot traffic and sales, plans to reopen as a weekly market in Hyatt Park next summer. 

Ropes of colored lights hang from wood posts along Hamilton Street. They were purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and orange around Halloween. Riddle says the city intends to continue changing the colors of the lights for holidays and special events.

“The coolest thing for me is the night we turned the lights on,” said Riddle. “The people just started walking to the park.”

Riddle hopes to plan an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the spring of 2020.