Entrance to new Epheta Park to be located on Branch Avenue

Entrance to new Epheta Park to be located on Branch Avenue

A site plan shows the tentative spot for the 1-acre field and playground space, above at right, at Epheta Park, with an entrance on Branch Avenue in the Cumberland Hill section of town.

CUMBERLAND – Town officials are tentatively planning to locate the new open space of Epheta Park near the end of Branch Avenue in Cumberland Hill.

There is no parking planned for the first phase of the proposed project, meaning pedestrian access only from the surrounding neighborhood.

The Breeze reported last week on the Town Council’s approval of a management plan for Epheta Park (also known as Ephpheta Park), which includes plans for a 1-acre open space park area on the 21.5-acre wooded lot, which is surrounded by homes.

Though not decided as of yet, the northernmost corner of the property appears to be the best location for the field and playground amenities, say officials, with trails running through the rest of the property being maintained.

“Within the park, there are two relatively flat areas potentially suitable for playgrounds and/or multi-use playfields,” states the management plan.

The town is seeking a $100,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, matched by $100,000 in town funds, to develop phase one improvements at Epheta Neighborhood Park.

Though no parking is included in phase one, true to the intent of keeping it for neighborhood walk-in use, future phase 2 plans call for a six-car gravel parking lot installed on the opposite side of the 21.5-acre property, next to the Epheta housing complex.

The site would be designated a trailhead access point to the extensive trail system within the park.