Charlestown Township Parks & Recreation Board
Great Valley High School
Thursday, December 19, 2019


Parks and Recreation:
Chris Lawrence, Chairperson, Dan Mount, and Ashlee Smith. Bil Longua, Jim Quay, Frank Beyer, and Brian Schlorff were absent.



Minutes for Approval

No minutes were approved. All approved minutes are available on the Township website.

Old Business

New Business

Charlestown Park

Miss Larissa Greway was before the P&R Board tonight to propose her Girl Scout Gold Award Project for Charlestown Park. She proposed a story walk. She would construct signs with a storybook page at the south end of the park. She felt this area needed more younger children activities since the playground was at the other end. It will be a loop at the south end of the trail and include the nature trail. She distributed plans for the .5-mile loop and discussed the tested method to be used.

She plans to switch books seasonally, the first book being Marsh Music by Marianne Berkes. There will be 20 boards, covered in Plexiglas and perhaps laminated pages. The first post will be a title page, and the last post will have a spot for comments. She will need volunteers to switch out the pages. Mr. Lawrence asked Mr. Kuhn to see if the Board would want Larissa to visit with her proposal.

The evergreens have the local fungus that is taking so many spruces. If they do not respond to spraying, they will be removed. There are surface roots of white pines that are protruding and causing a tripping hazard in a practice field. Additional soil will be placed over them by the Roadmaster. Any further maintenance will be done by the landscaper.

For the last 1.5 years, the invasives have been being methodically reduced in the meadows. Since the meadows are following Mr. Theurkauf’s procedure for maintenance it will be time to seed. Erosion areas near the lacrosse field at not being mowed so that vegetation can stop any further damage.

Mr. Michael Rodger’s memorial bench plaque has been ordered. Since none of the plaques are holding up, Mr. Kuhn is replacing them all with bronze ones to withstand the weather.

The fence money is being rolled over to next year.

Brightside Farm Park

Mr. Lawrence stated an Eagle Scout put up an information kiosk with a wildflower area but now the base needs mulch and the information kiosk needs volunteers to take care of posting relevant articles.

There is supposed to be a kiosk sign about the biking club sharing the trail, giving horses and walkers the right of way. Mr. Lawrence asked Mrs. Sara Greway if the Boy Scouts could put mulch or stone at the base and spread more seeds then water this spring. The kiosk information needs to be refreshed and the tree plaques need replacing. Mrs. Greway agreed to be the scout contact for Brightside Farm Park and will get back to Mr. Lawrence.

Also, Mr. Lawrence told Mrs. Greway that the riparian buffer project is coming and they need volunteer planters. She will also be involved with this. Scout Ethan Greway will be receiving the list of Eagle Scout Projects that the Township has been compiling.

Mr. Mount will reach out to the Charlestown Historical Society about the concert series. The Society plans to operate throughout 2020.

Great Valley Nature Center

Mr. and Mrs. Sauder were in attendance tonight and questioned Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Kuhn about the status of the Nature Center. Mr. Kuhn said there is a court date coming and there is nothing the Township can do to push or make any sort of progress until this court day.

Mr. Kuhn said the bank would like to come into compliance, get paid for the property, flip it, break easement and/or deed restrictions, so that they can receive payment.

Supervisors want the French and Pickering Trust to run the former Nature Center and the Township will just own it. Mr. Lawrence said that the Green Valleys Association is talking with the French & Pickering Trust. The EAC said the bank contacted them, probably to move to compliance since it must be used as an educational institution. Mr. Findlay stated the EAC could raise funds for the bank’s asking price with grants.

Mrs. Sauder was happy to hear that only one home could ever possibly be placed on that lot. There is no risk of commercial improvements or more than one home due to the property constraints and wetlands making septic approvals difficult.

Swiss Pines

  1. The representative for a proposed center for abused women at the Swiss Pines has not pursued further inquiry.
  2. The Township was at one time prepared to take over and own the property but that is no longer true.
  3. It would take at least 3 million dollars to bring the Swiss Pines property into compliance for public use.
  4. The caretakers are working toward compliance and have made progress.
  5. No more homes can be built on it.
  6. Its largest problem is ingress and egress.
  7. PennDOT needs to contact them about the bamboo near the road.
  8. Mr. Lawrence wants the P&R Board to come up with a vision for grants.

Charlestown Day

Mr. Lawrence wants plenty of volunteers since last year he did so much of it himself. He will be keeping the band from last year and adding a country sound with a second band. Then they can switch off and on. He will begin now and advertise a run. Once they choose a date, they will contact the Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce and get it on the calendar of events.


Ms. Smith said the Johnson and Johnson volunteers will not remove invasives due to ticks and poison ivy. She will reconnect with them before spring, perhaps they can repaint recently tagged bridge abutments. This vandalism continues to return. She will see if she can find the person that painted the utility boxes in Phoenixville and maybe they would help with the abutments.

Club Reports

The PASC and the PMYC gave Mr. Lawrence signed contracts tonight. The Friends of Charlestown Township will donate paint for improvements to the clubhouse.

EAC Report

Mr. Findlay stated that the EAC had a few areas of focus.

  1. January 27th is a discussion about plastics in the environment.
  2. The P&R was invited to the first January EAC meeting.
  3. The bee pollinator project (provide a pollinator garden).
  4. Sound walls.
  5. Riparian buffer.
  6. They submitted a new PECO grant.
  7. 2020 will include an educational speaker series (food foraging, stream health, composting, etc.)
  8. They have a plan to improve the engagement with local residents for the reason of increasing volunteer base. Mr. Lawrence has many green groups in Phoenixville he would like to include.
  9. Ms. Armstrong will be sending out a report about surface water.
  10. Mr. Findlay asked those present to vote for the Brandywine River to be the River of the Year and passed out a flyer with the voting link.

Other Items

Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Mount want to contact residents to see if they still want the Township improvements that were prioritized in 2009.

Mr. Mount wondered about the joint East Whiteland and Charlestown Park he thought may come from the ≈140-acre Balderson Tract. Discussion followed about the issue of policing it, new walking trails and connectors, contaminated areas, and equine use.


Adjourned at 9:00 p.m.