The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, June 7, 2006, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Joel Grosso, Vice Chairman, Michael Clancy, John Davis, Kathy Kelly, Buck O’Neill and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Philip Calabro, Board of Supervisors Liaison, and Russell G. Strover, Township Naturalist.

Call to Order

Mr. Grosso called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Clancy noted that in the minutes of May 3, 2006, the last paragraph of page 3 should read, ….” Will discuss gates…”, and the first paragraph of page 4 should read, “….probably not coincide with normal school hours…”.

Mr. Strover noted that his name was not listed as in attendance.

Mr. Clancy moved to accept the minutes of May 3, 2006, as amended. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

Park Development

Mr. Clancy reported that he had appeared before the Council Rock School Board on June 1, 2006, to discuss access to the Woll tract through school district property on Wrights Road. Some School Board members expressed some concern about an easement through the property causing difficulties if the school were to expand, but the majority were in favor of allowing access, asking that the district be kept up to date on the Pickering Corts and Summerson engineering plans. Board members preferred that no buffering be planted between the school and the park, so wandering children could easily be seen. With this permission, engineering can proceed. Mr. Clancy noted that Superintendent Klein was very pleased with the way that the Township and School District have worked so well together on this project.

Mr. Davis noted that the elementary school would have access to the fields during the school day for school events.

Mr. Clancy reported that Roberts Ridge Park will be closed beginning June 18 for about eight to ten weeks for retrofitting and installation of the Park of Possibilities. He said that the swings had been recalled by the manufacturer, but had not been replaced in a timely fashion. Hopefully they will be installed as part of this project. He provided members with copies of the sign that is to be posted on the site, which outlines the work to be done to create a playground that is completely accessible to children with disabilities, and will include a new rubberized safety surface and a picnic pavilion over the existing tables. Have-a- Heart Foundation’s funding is acknowledged on the sign. He also provided a timeline of work to be performed, including the removal of mulch, installation of equipment by volunteers from the Carpenters Union and Engineers & Operators Union, landscaping by volunteers from Boucher & James, and pouring and setting of the safety surfacing.

The Board reviewed a report prepared by Mr. Wert outlining the scope of work for the Clark Nature Center Natural Resource Management Plan. Pickering Corts and Summerson has recommended a three phase plan:

  • phase 1 – Boundary and Topography Survey, which will update and prepare an “as-built” current boundary and topography survey to establish current conditions to serve as a base map for future planning. ($12,500)
  • phase 2 – Opportunities and Constraints Analysis with Natural Resource Inventory, which highlights natural, man-made and regulatory opportunities, and documents stormwater management and erosion control.($9,800)
  • phase 3 – Master Planning, which will assist the Township in developing elements of a vision plan for the Clark Nature Center, including physical and administrative improvements, and stormwater management. A preliminary opinion and probable cost will be prepared, which will include applicable grant opportunities as they pertain to specific improvements and program initiatives.($22,500)

The total cost for the plan is $44,800.

Mrs. Sutton moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors accept the proposal of Pickering Corts and Summerson for a Clark Nature Center Natural Resources Management Plan. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Park and Recreation Director’s Report

The Commission reviewed a written report from Mr. Wert. In addition to information on the Clark Nature Center and Roberts Ridge Park, the report included a review of the recreation department programming. Revenue is up slightly over last year, with participation down slightly. Mr. Wert’s staff estimates that the participation is down compared to last year at this time because the program brochure was mailed later than last year.

Member Comments

Mrs. Sutton said that residents have approached her on a few matters. She has been asked whether the field behind Staples might be too close to the By-Pass and might be dangerous to children.

The Commission agreed that this is a matter to be addressed by the police department.

Mrs. Sutton said that a neighbor had expressed some concern about fishermen taking home fish caught in Silver Lake Park, and about the lack of trash receptacles. Her neighbor did not think that the fish in Silver Lake were safe to eat, and he questioned whether there should be “catch and release” signs posted.

The Commission agreed to refer these questions to Mr. Wert.

Mr. O’Neill reported that Marcus Zotter and Cody Mitchell have begun gathering information on skate park equipment. Through Mrs. Sutton he had received an e-mail from an Upper Makefield student interested in helping with the park.

Mr. Davis asked members to volunteer with him for the upcoming First Fourth celebration on July 8, 2006. Mr. Clancy is coordinating the parade.

The members discussed possibly rescheduling the July meeting. Dates when the meeting room is available will be circulated by e-mail.

Mrs. Sutton moved to adjourn at 7:45 PM. Mr. Clancy seconded and the motion carried 6-0.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary