Great Valley Middle School
255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA
Minutes of Thursday, March 17, 2016


Parks and Recreation: Chris Lawrence, Chairman, Marylou Forcine, Karen Schlichter, Sue Staas, Charles Buck, Jim Quay, Pat Dowd of PASC, and Ester Underhill.
Additional Visitors and Volunteers: Sherry Mathias, Betsy Pilgrim, Beth Peterson, Betsy Baron, Michael Stevens, and Chris Tobin.

The minutes for February were approved.

Old Business

  1. Picnic tables that are dangerous were marked with an “X” and Mr. Detorre will have Out of Site dispose of them. Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Detorre will walk the Park again on Tuesday the 22nd.
  2. Handicap Park access for Coldstream Road was discussed further, though no viable options were raised. Mr. Quay suggested more boulders to prevent continued parking further along Coldstream Rd.

New Business

  1. The connector/equestrian trail along Whitehorse Meadows has become very overgrown. At this month’s Board of Supervisors Meeting, Elizabeth Peterson of the Whitehorse Meadows Homeowners Association presented a petition signed by the residents of the development. They requested that the equestrian easement for the trail be extinguished. She wanted to “reclaim” the land that has become overgrown, clear it, and plant bushes as a sound barrier. This request is allowable per the HOA document.
  2. Supervisors said the land was eased for a trail. As long as there was at least a 4 foot path for the horses to get through, planting a screening would be allowed. The Trail Committee and the equestrian representative, Ms. Becky Pilgrim, agreed to maintain the trail if the HOA helped to clear it. It was also revealed that fencing form other property owners is now preventing access further down the trail.

    Ms. Betsy Baron came tonight to clarify some information and discussion followed.

  3. Spring environmental events:
    1. Earth Day Cleanup is April 16, 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet at the Township Office where light refreshments will be served. The rain date is April 23. The Girl Scouts will be at Brightside Farm.
    2. There is a Township Hazardous Waste Drop Off on April 16, 2016 at the Technical College High School, Pickering Campus (1580 Charlestown Road).
    3. Shredding Day is May 7th also at the TCHS at 1580 Charlestown Road. Volunteers are requested to contact Mrs. Csete.
    4. Recycling Day for Electronics is June 18, at Phoenixville Area High School, 1200 Gay Street.
  4. Charlestown Park Report
    1. The pavilions are finished, and restrooms are being constructed currently along with the playground equipment.
    2. There was a meeting with Mrs. Csete, Mr. Detorre, and Mr. Lawrence regarding the new Park Rules and Pavilion Rental Policy. Copies are available from Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Csete. Discussion followed about safety concerns for bikes and skateboards due to the hilly nature of the path. A speed limit or adult supervision was suggested for bikes and skateboards.
    3. Mr. Lawrence displayed the new signage artwork for discussion. Mrs. Underhill expressed concern about the wording on some temporary University signs posted on poles along Academic Way. It is Park property, but since the power lines are being buried soon, the poles will be taken down.
    4. Mr. Lawrence informed the group that the restrooms would be remotely lockable, though the initial construction will require a key. Once the remote locks are available, the keyed access will be switched out.
    5. The Township has negotiated internet access and a hotspot from Comcast; details of the installation are being worked on.
    6. There was a pit of concrete fill that was discovered and had to be removed underneath the swing set area. It caused a delay in the schedule.
    7. Mr. Quay told Mr. Lawrence that there were some dangerous limbs that needed to be trimmed in the park. He was told to send pictures to Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Csete. There is also a fallen willow to be removed soon.
    8. Mr. Lawrence is contacting the biology professor at the University to help with the tagging and identification of trees in the Park.
    9. The University is being contacted to expand the custodial contract to include the new Park restrooms. The details of the contract are being finalized.
    10. Pavilion users will sign a rental agreement, and be urged to clean up after they are finished. The addition of a corralled dumpster may be necessary.
    11. Mr. Quay will contact Ms. Csete regarding custodial supplies; namely access to extra dog waste bags for the bins.
    12. Disc golf is still a possibility in the Park, but a course of only 4 is the likeliest scenario, due to space.
  5. Charlestown Day Update
    1. The Healthy Kids Running Series may partner with the township for Charlestown Day. Mr. Stevens distributed flyers for members to place at popular Township places. He will be contacting the three local high schools, in hopes of obtaining volunteers. Registration is available on the website and on the Facebook page. Mr. Lawrence suggested contacting for a grant. He is currently trying to map out the one mile loop. was a new suggestion as a potential beneficiary or sponsor for the Day.
    2. Mrs. Schlichter wants a type of demonstration for Charlestown Day, even though Sunday is the day the running club meets. Mr. Stevens will see about adding a bonus day, opening it up to the general public, or think of a way to work the special day into the club’s activities.

    3. Food vendors that have signed on are Urban Wood Fired Pizza, and Kona Ice. Mr. Lawrence suggested Mrs. Schlichter get help with all the calls and emailing she has to do for the vendors.
    4. The pavilion layout will include a lot of non-profit vendors.
    5. Music was not discussed due to time constraints. Mr. Lawrence has contact with a Blues band who has expressed interest.
    6. Mrs. Schlichter asked the Board of Supervisors to consider a beneficiary for the money raised. Mr. Quay will look into the County resources and Mr. Lawrence will send out a list via email of the following groups that have asked to be considered.
      • Great Valley Community Organization (GVCO)
      • The Colonial Theater
      • Charlestown Township Historical Society
      • Local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
      • Local scholarships or assistance for families who can’t afford to join some of the sports clubs at the park, are also a possibility.

      Mr. Tobin, representing the Board of Directors of the Great Valley Nature Center, also asked to be reconsidered.

  6. Trails Report
    1. Mrs. Staas said they are using the mowing service for the Pickering and Pickering Dam Trail, since these two trails require the most maintenance. Charlestown Landscaping is doing a good job.
    2. Three Eagle Scouts may be available to assist the Trails Committee this year. Mr. Peter Warner the local Scout Master, will walk some trails with Mrs. Staas on Saturday at 4 p.m.
    3. Mrs. Staas is working on detours for washouts and establishing access from Route 29.
    4. There was discussion about tree identification by an Eagle Scout. Mr. Lawrence will be meeting with an Eagle Scout Sunday, and has a signage budget. Mr. Robert Elmer was suggested as a local botanist.
    5. There is flooding on the Pickering Trail and it may have washed out some dirt near the new steps at Anderson’s driveway. Mr. Lawrence will visit that spot with Sue Staas to check for any damage.
    6. There is a Wildflower Walk on April 17, along the Pickering Trail.
    7. The addition of the Whitehorse Meadows HOA’s equestrian trail request, will be added to the Trails “To Do List” for 2016.
    8. Trail Captain training options topic was moved to next month’s agenda.
  7. The introduction of the Friends of Charlestown 501(C)3 was moved to next month’s agenda. Please review the bi-laws and email Mr. Lawrence with questions.
  8. Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Staas have finished updating the trail maps for the Regional Planning Commission and provided feedback to Mr. Theurkauf
  9. Mr. Lawrence stated that additional planning services from Campbell Thomas and Assoc., relating to the Devault Branch Rail Trail, have been approved by the Board on an as needed basis.
  10. Mrs. Staas would like to extend the Pickering Dam Trail but Mr. Lawrence said there are some hindrances to this idea.
  11. The McDevitt Trail will need invasives work at some point this spring.
  12. Mr. Lawrence will contact Charlestown Landscaping regarding the Pickering Trail, if Mrs. Staas doesn’t get a response soon. It is over-growing fast.
  13. There is an educational opportunity by It is a talk on Climate Change on April 20; the location is yet to be announced.
  14. There have been Facebook page updates on the Park Construction and Healthy Kids Running Series. Mr. Lawrence will add an update on April recycling/shredding and cleanup events this week.
  15. The Parks and Recreation Board procedure for approval of new members was discussed. Anyone applying for a Board position should submit a brief letter of intent and a resume to Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Csete.
  16. The next April meeting is not on the usual schedule of the third Thursday, instead it is set for April 14th in the GVMS Library at 7:30 PM. Additionally, Mr. Lawrence will not be present, but will dial-in to Mrs. Schlichter’s cell phone, and will try to keep the meeting shorter.

Other Business

There will be a brief meeting to discuss Charlestown Day after tonight’s meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:15.