Parks and Recreation:
Chris Lawrence, Karen Schlichter, and Sue Staas. Bil Longua, Frank Beyer, and Marylou Forcine, and Jim Quay
Additional Visitors and Volunteers:
Tim Hubbard, Brian Schlorff, David and Derrell Nemeth, A.J. Stacy, J.D. and Kristin Heisey, Alix Coleman, Robert
Findlay, Darrah Ribble, Keven Kuhn, and Lisa Gardner. See attached sign-in sheet
Mr. Lawrence announced there was a Charlestown Day Meeting prior to tonight’s meeting.
New Volunteers for Parks and Recreation Board
Mr. Lawrence reminded everyone to try and find more volunteers since there is plenty of room and plenty
to do. Mr. Lawrence will contact Mrs. Csete to be sure Mr. Schlorff is officially added to the P&R Board.
Wetlands Trail Addition: Scout A.J. Stacy’s project is complete and received a round of applause.
A.J. added a 6-foot stone trail and viewing area, about 50 feet from the overlook in Charlestown Park.
Brightside Farm Info Kiosk/Tree Identification: Scout David Nemeth said he has been working
with Mr. Wright and will be designing the kiosk at Advanced GeoService’s office using drafting software. His finish
date is the end of the summer.
Benches and Wetlands Overlook Rehab: Scout J.D. Heisey has built the benches, placement is
finished, but he plans on doing more volunteer repair work, as soon as the weather cooperates.
Mr. Lawrence introduced a document called Charlestown Township Potential Eagle Scout Projects Based
on Community Needs. The EAC will review for potential additions.
Charlestown Park Report
- South Lot construction is done with just a few minor punch list items.
- The restroom façade has cosmetic problems, this is being handled legally since the surety is unresponsive.
- The PASC reports that the rutted area from the trash trucks (and the refuse around it), has been cleared. The
dumpsters are currently located in a good spot. Mr. Kuhn stated the former road may become a regular access road.
They would need to clear the area across from the intersection for site lines, but first Mr. Wright is researching
with PennDOT. If the access road opens, the dumpster area would change due to traffic. The new access road could also
help the handicap access problem, be a traffic calming device for the University, and even an access for a potential
Township Building. The plans cannot proceed without PennDOT’s approval. Mr. Kuhn said that there is probably a comprehensive
traffic study of the area, including the University grounds, in the future
Mr. Lawrence will email the portable
restroom vendor to have the units relocated near the football field.
- Mr. Lawrence introduced a state-wide program called Young Lungs at Play that discourages smoking near playgrounds.
Discussion followed about where to places the signs vs the number of signs in the Park. Mr. Lawrence also discussed
a sign that has a picture of a cigarette butt on it with the caption These do not biodegrade. The Board decided
to put language in the pavilion rental form, as a start, and see if it reduces the number of discarded butts around
the Park grounds (especially near the pavilions and restrooms).
- The PMYC is having its year-end lacrosse season picnic on June 2nd. Mr. Lawrence will verify they have
made pavilion reservations. They would like an Eagle Scout to repair their clubhouse and do some painting. They suggested
improving the gateway area from Park to University, but the road access project might take care of this (per Mr. Kuhn).
- The PMYC has allowed a Rugby team to use their fields. PMYC fall football signup numbers are not where they need
to be, so there will not be fall tackle football. But, the Phoenixville Phantom League is increasing in size and has
asked the Township if it can use the fields that the PMYC is not using for football. The Rugby team was coming to
tonight’s meeting but instead is involved in a play-off game. Mr. Lawrence will contact the Rugby team after meeting
with the Phantoms rep. Mr. Schlorff said it is important to consider wear and tear on the fields, the Phantoms (and
rugby team) would need to be notified of their part of the agreement.
This brought up the issue regarding
insurance. The Township needs to have all insurance information for the clubs, Mrs. Csete should be given all information
before clubs begin to use the Park.
Mr. Hubbard also needs information regarding what is placed, by what contractors, on which fields. Recent deaths
of dogs (at dog parks) due to chemicals, have raised concerns about safety, and the need to keep Safety Data Sheets,
and records, etc.
- The Healthy Kids Running group had over 300 runners this season.
- A moms group had asked to rent a large area of the Park. Discussion followed about groups that wanted to rent
the entire Park. Mr. Hubbard will investigate what other Parks are doing about this. For now, the Township does not
want to rent to for-profit or commercial groups or anyone that would exclude the public use. The policy has not been
- Mr. Longua previously mentioned the connection of the Horseshoe Trail and Brightside Trail. It is not well marked,
except with equestrian signage. Since Hollow Road is state owned, Mr. Lawrence believes PennDOT approval is obtainable
for trail crossing signage. This way trail walkers and motorists would be more aware of each other.
- There is information available for a statewide conference on trails called the PA Greenways and Trails Summit.
There is interest for Charlestown Township to host in 2019 or 2021. They would need an indoor venue, the Penn State
Great Valley Campus or the University of Valley Forge were mentioned.
- The Brightside Farm Trail is done. Alix Coleman stated the grow socks were being relocated but were falling apart
as they were moved. She had some points to share with the Board regarding the mountain bike club that meets there
once a week.
- They are biking on the walking trails and the impact is evident.
- The people that stand at the ends of the trails, with timers she thinks, sometimes bring their cars onto the
grove area. The Board responded that it is just a practice field and no racing or events are held there. They did
not know about the cars.
- Bikers have cut trails into the woods. The Board responded that the club was given permission to do so, in return
for caring for the trails and picking up trash at the Farm.
- The bikers are using wire flags that are detrimental to hay growing, they are not supposed to, and have been
warned. The Board responded that they should be using cones, no wire is allowed.
- The club members were about 15 bikers and has grown to about 30 cars in the lot. The Board responded that yes
during that time it is very busy, but the cars are not staying, just dropping off. In addition, the club only meets
once a week (if it is not muddy).
Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Kuhn will visit Alix on the grounds. Mr. Lawrence will also obtain an overhead bike route
for Alix. Mr. Lawrence will contact the club rep to discuss:
- using only cones-no flags
- placing cones at the trail crossings to warn trail walkers of the bikers during practice
- placing a limit to the number of bikers that are welcome at Brightside Farm
- setting a specific date and time for the club to use Brightside Farm
- reminding the club of the agreement to not leave any trash and pick-up any they find
Mrs. Staas said the Brightside Farm Trail Walk is June 2nd. In addition, Charlestown Oaks is clearing
their trail. It is a big job. Discussion followed about assisting this development with maintenance vs obtaining public
access. Mr. Hubbard will research the progress but feels this is a good location for the mountain bike club if it
outgrows Brightside Farm.
Mrs. Staas stated the trail website master wants a picture of the Thompson Trail. He has done a great
job of making printable maps and pictures for people that want to walk Charlestown Township trails.
The EAC is in a probationary period, and has named a chairperson, Peter Goodman, and a vice-chairperson,
Carol Armstrong. Mr. Findlay is the liaison for P&R. He stated it will advise, consult, support, and educate, while
integrating with other township committees. The minutes are forthcoming. It has begun by looking at the following issues:
- Being active in the safety concerns surrounding the repurposing of a local oil pipeline into a gas pipeline. They
are compiling comments and concerns for the easement, with safety as the first concern. Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Kuhn would
like the Township residents to be informed, by the EAC, about the pipeline and the PHMSA (Pipeline Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration). Mr. Findlay will also send a map of the route.
- Interested in proposed Eagle Scout projects and suggesting environmentally focused Eagle Scout projects.
- Ms. Armstrong has drafted an article for the Newsletter about the Lantern Fly.
- Invasive plant species in Charlestown Township.
Adjourned at 9:00 p.m.