Charlestown Township Parks & Recreation Board
Great Valley Middle School
Thursday, January 16, 2020


Parks and Recreation:
Chris Lawrence, Chairperson, Bil Longua, Dan Mount, and Ashlee Smith. Jim Quay, Frank Beyer, and Brian Schlorff were absent.
Richard Findlay, Keith Maurer, Neil and Robin Baltus, and David and Susan Saunders


An EAC presentation by Ms. Carol Armstrong called Plastics in Our Bodies! will be held on January 28, at 7 p.m. in the Great Valley Middle School Choral Room.

Minutes for Approval

The December minutes were approved.

Old Business

New Business

Charlestown Park

Mr. Lawrence reviewed the Gold Award presentation by Scout Larissa Greway. She proposed a story walk incorporating signs holding storybook pages for the south end of the park. The first book would be Marsh Music by Marianne Berkes. Since the last meeting, he has received a cost estimate. Her presentation to the Board will be February 3, and if approved, her estimated finish date is the end of April.

Mr. Lawrence sent a list of projects to Mrs. Greway for the Park/PASC or Brightside Farm. The list will soon have spring time additions. Mr. Longua discussed repairs to a bridge (over a west end stream near Township Line Road) that may require a visit from Mr. Wright, it needs reinforcing.

The Baltus’ displayed a dog tag that was possibly from WWI and discussed other finds while using their metal detector in the Park. The markings had the name Devlin out of Fort Mead Medical division. A test kit is coming to determine the age of the objects in their possession but Township property. They will catalogue them for the Township historical groups and note the successful locations. They follow the zero-footprint rule when digging up their possible treasures.

Charlestown Day

Mr. Lawrence chose September 26, 2020 as the next Charlestown Day and will begin promoting the date. He will notify GoFast, the group managing the 5k. Other ideas were discussed like a scavenger hunt and use of an on-line sign-up site for volunteers to choose time slots and hear samples of the possible bands.


Mr. Longua is not optimistic about PennDOT cooperating with the Hollow Road crossing.

There is a branch down near Buckwalter Road that may have damaged something on the trail. Members discussed an email from earlier in the day from Mrs. Csete. Mr. Lawrence will check on it.

Mr. Lawrence attended the TMACC/DVRPC meeting involving the Devault Rail to Trail Project.

The 6.1-mile proposed trail is to relieve the congestion on Route 29 and Charlestown Road, and is planned along an existing line. A small extension could connect it to the Horseshoe Trail and the Great Valley Schools.

A TCDI Grant application will be completed to provide funding for the initial planning of trail management/responsibility. It will help planners decide if (a) each township will manage their own section or if (b) townships will join together and form an authority for policing and maintenance. Charlestown Township has a lot of the trail mileage but the least of the destination points.

The next step would involve the acquisition of the land from (a recently more approachable) Norfolk Southern. Discussion followed about grants and the process with a time line stretching out as long as 2 years. However, the County has begun negotiations with Norfolk Southern and much progress has been reported even in the last week. The grant application is due the end of February and any activity, that would be billable, could start as early as this August.

The question arises as to the right-of-way for the Devault project as it transitions from a rail line to a trail route. Some people wonder if the land rights of owners-before it was Norfolk Southern’s- are a consideration-could the land possibly return to those owners?

The trestle over Route 29 was inspected and is in good shape but a liability to Charlestown in this project. A created trail authority would relieve the Township of this responsibility.

PASC Report

Tonight Mr. Maurer of the PASC received the agreement from the Township for use of the soccer fields and was told to sign and return it to Mrs. Csete. It covers a 5-7-year period.

Brightside Farm Park

Mr. Lawrence stated that Alix was very interested in the Baltus’ detectoring and told them to contact Alix. Mr. Longua has been working with Mrs. Rodgers and is waiting for a picture for the plaques. His target finish date is the end of April with a spring date for dedication.

The garden fence has seen many revisions and Mr. Buck is drafting a final version so that a cost estimate can be obtained.

The Charlestown Historical Society has requested the Members assistance in parking and publicity for their June and July successful concert series.

EAC Report

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

  1. In late December funds arrived and now there are 300 trees planted completing the first phase of the riparian buffer project.
  2. He asked if the Friends of Charlestown Township could provide their account for incoming donations to fund the replacement of the trees that do not survive. Mr. Lawrence agreed, and stated that this group needed more board members.
  3. While the planting was happening a dilapidated fence that was covered with Mile-a-Minute Vine was removed.
  4. Next step is Phase 2-obtaining grants funding for planting towards the Horseshoe Trail near the wetlands. This will be discussed in the next Township Newsletter.
  5. The push for the EAC volunteerism project is going strong. They have 39 volunteers. Phase 1 has begun, the Township website tab for the EAC (currently blank) will be establish and loaded with their important messages and topics. Then they will choose other social media venues.
  6. Mr. Findlay asked Mr. Lawrence if the EAC could post on the P&R Facebook page and Mr. Lawrence agreed.

Other Items

Mr. Lawrence asked Ms. Smith to contact Johnson & Johnson and also some scouts and perhaps coordinate these two groups to work together on a project this spring. Ms. Smith thought there would be activities scheduled for May, and July. Mr. Mount is still working on contacting scout troops.

Mrs. Saunders will contact sponsors of the Great Pumpkin Carve. The event is co-sponsored by the Historical Society and the Concordville-Chadds Ford Rotary. Discussion followed about the best venue, the Park or Brightside Farm Park.

Adjournment was at 9:00 p.m.