Charlestown Township Parks and Recreation Board
The first meeting for January was held January 15, 2015 at the Great Valley Middle School Cafeteria, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.
Parks and Recreation Board: Chris Lawrence, Jim Quay, Kevin Kuhn, Mary Lou Forcine, Karen Schlichter, Sue Staas, Esther Underhill, Darrah Ribble: Charlestown Historical Society, and Patrick Dowd: Phoenixville Area Soccer Club.
Staff: Tim Hubbard, Property & Safety Coordinator and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.
The December minutes were approved.
Mr. Lawrence invited Mr. Ribble to discuss concerns the Historical Society may have regarding the path planned for Brightside Farm.
In December of 2014, Mr. Ed Theurkauf presented to the Board of Supervisors, two route options for the future path. After the presentation and discussion, Mr. Theurkauf was asked to return to the Board in February with a new route. They suggested blend of the two presented, incorporating the following suggestions:
Mr. Ribble stated that the Historical Society has concerns about the path being too close to the Society’s headquarters (the Wisner-Rapp House on the grounds of the Farm). Although the building is monitored by alarms, they feel that Plan #2 places the parking lot too close, and prefer the layout of Plan #1. Artifacts inside the home, and people wandering off the path coming near the house, were among the causes for concern. Mr. Ribble was assured the revised path will not be near the house.
However, Mr. Kuhn and Mrs. Forcine discussed with Mr. Ribble, the potential showcasing of the house and artifacts. Perhaps the Society could consider the potential increase in activity as a form of monitoring for the house. Because, it is the quieter, and less traveled areas of the Farm, that tend to need policing. The Society also was concerned about unauthorized motor vehicles using the path once it is paved. Mr. Hubbard said most off road vehicles tend to avoid paved and flat areas; he does not believe this will be a concern.
Mr. Ribble mentioned a sign for the Wisner-Rapp House. Mr. Lawrence requested historical signage about the former Valley Forge Army Hospital, for Charlestown Park, from Mr. Ribble. Mr. Ribble will check with Mrs. Csete about permitted signs.
Mr. Lawrence said that the outstanding repairs mentioned in the 2014 November and December minutes (picnic benches, pavilion boards, and ballards) will be completed by Mr. Thompson, except for the erosion problem, which must wait until the spring thaw. There is no official waste pickup schedule yet, Mr. Hubbard will talk to Mr. Cabot.
Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Thompson met with representatives of PennDOT, to discuss the removal of the fence surrounding the Park. To prevent cars entering the park grounds where there is no access road, the Township wanted to investigate PennDOT guardrails along specific parts of the Park. The representatives informed Mr. Thompson and Mr. Hubbard that the Township did not meet the specifications for PennDOT guardrails.
Furthermore, they did not feel an out of control vehicle would reach any practice fields. For now, the Township agrees with PennDOT’s assessment. The issue may be revisited during future Park improvements. If the Township would decide to install this type of rail, the estimate is $25,000. The contractor can now proceed with the removal of the fence.
Mr. Theurkauf’s document regarding natural area/meadow recommendations was circulated prior to the meeting. It was discussed for application to the nature trail and stream area in the Park. Mr. Lawrence asked for someone to contact the Philip’s for help with planting unmown areas with seed.
At the JD Bravo meeting, the pavilions and parking layout near F Street was an area of focus. Pavilion size, shape, grouping or stand alone, orientation, how many, some with bathrooms, etc., was discussed. Some members did not like the “lined-up layout” and felt some needed to be placed apart. Also, what amenities to have near them, like bocce ball, volleyball, horseshoe pits, a playground near one with a bathroom, was discussed, with the basketball court and parking being the anchors. A community Park “building” event with corporate sponsors is being researched by JD Bravo.
Email suggestions for signage to Mr. Lawrence.
The Landscaping contract renewal in March, being organized by Mrs. Csete, will contain only mowing for Charlestown Park per Mr. Lawrence. Additional needs will be assessed as the Park project continues.
Mr. Lawrence is asking for contacts for Bark for Life, hoping to bring them to the Township in 2015. Will talk to Linda Csete.
He would like to light a tree in the Park for the next Christmas/Holiday season.
Mrs. Schlichter is presenting the basic information about Charlestown Day 2015 to the Board of Supervisors on February 2.
Unfortunately, the rerouting of the Horseshoe Trail to the Turnpike right of way between the school and Blackberry Lane did not gain Turnpike support. However, the Turnpike Commission is cooperating with a plan in progress, to develop a trail between Charlestown Oaks, Valley Hill Road, and the water tower on Yellow Springs Road. Charlestown Oaks residents are concerned about motorized bikes and ATV traffic along an unorganized local path that they wish to become a Township trail (to control the types of usage).
Mrs. Staas distributed a map and stated that the Thompson trail is being rerouted at the request of the Historical Society since they want to sell the Markley property. Since the Horseshoe Trail will go through the TND soon, it no longer needs to go through the Markley property.
Mr. Kuhn said he spoke with Bob Thomas about an announcement from Norfolk Southern. The rail line from Phoenixville to Charlestown is for sale. This falls under the Rails-To-Trails objective, and he is hoping it might be a County purchase; this will depend on the outcome of the ongoing feasibility study.
The search continues for a liaison for the Park and the PMYC. The soccer club said they have signs that need upgrading; this will be part of the improvements.
The search for Park and Recreation Board volunteers will be mentioned in the February Newsletter. Suzanne Riley will be contacted.
Mr. Lawrence is going to the Schuylkill Watershed Congress.
Mr. Quay is going to research the name of the stream that runs through the Park.
There are two lights not working, near the snack shack, causing it to be very dark between the practice fields and the parking lot. Mr. Hubbard will check on it.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for February 19, 2015 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.