The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in the Park and Recreation Conference Room. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Andrew Levine and members Kathy Kelly, Mark McMenamin, Brendan McQuillan, Anne Porter and Susan Sutton. Also in attendance was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.

Call to Order: Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Mrs. Sutton moved to accept the minutes of February 6, 2013. Ms. Porter seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

New Business

Eagle Scout Project: Mrs. Pawlenko introduced Eagle Scout candidate Brian Coccetti, who is planning to build an herb garden in the fenced portion of Clark Nature Center. Once the garden is completed, she hopes to have a community garden, which will be maintained by the students at Sail School and possibly by the youth aid panel group.

Brian Coccetti showed the Board his plans for raised herb beds in four triangular gardens surrounding a magnolia tree and bench already in place in the center of the garden. The paths surrounding the beds will be mulched with wood chips. He has discussed appropriate herbs with Howard Kirschner of Kirschner Landscaping, who has offered to help with the project. He intends to do most of the work himself with support from his troop. He will also speak to Ms. Morris at Sail School about asking her students to do some of the mulching. He noted that he already volunteers with these students on other projects. He estimated the cost of the project will be about $1200.

Mr. McMenamin and Ms. Porter offered some suggestions for plants surrounding the bench area to avoid attracting bees. Both Ms. Porter and Mr. McMenamin offered assistance with selecting plants.

Mr. Coccetti said that he has completed a sun/shade study to help plan the garden. Mr. Kirschner has offered some guidance with plant selection, but he will also review his final plans with Mr. McMenamin.

Mrs. Pawlenko suggested that he consider seeking some help from Russell Gardens as well, as this nursery has offered some help to the Township with other gardening projects.

Ms. Porter moved to approve Brian Coccetti’s Eagle Scout project for an herb garden at Clark Nature Center. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

Mr. Levine said that he would present the project to the Board of Supervisors for final approval on April 24 at the televised meeting. He thanked Brian for planning a project in the park.

Mrs. Pawlenko said that once completed, the garden will be an asset to the Township. She hopes to use it for gardening clubs and classes in the future.

Reports on Projects

Noah’s Playground: Mr. Levine reported that he presented the plans for Noah’s playground to the Bucks County Planning Commission for their approval for the Municipal Open Space Program. BCPC was very supportive of the plan. He would speak to the Supervisors on April 24 about bringing the plans to the County Commissioners for final approval and would speak to Kurt about budget and transfer of funds from the playground charity.

Basketball Courts: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the courts will be recoated and new benches are being installed with the Coke grant funds. She is working with Mr. McMenamin on some plantings around the bench area.

Veterans Park: Mrs. Pawlenko said that Superior Turf will begin work as soon as the soil has reached the right temperature. She also suggested that the Park and Rec Board investigate whether paving the area around the snack shed/restrooms would qualify for Municipal Open Space Program matching funds. The paving had been removed from phase I of the plan.

Park and Recreation Director’s Report

Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the Supervisors approved the two Eagle Scout projects for Helen Randle Park and the scouts should begin working soon on the retaining wall and flag pole.

Mr. McMenamin suggested that the next Eagle project could be consolidation of the many storage units at the park into a central location. He would develop a master plan which would include landscape plans. He also said that he is licensed to sign off on the scout project retaining wall, which the Supervisors felt needed to be reviewed by an engineer. Mr. McMenamin did not think this would be necessary, as it involves less than 2 feet of regrading.

Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the storage shed at Veterans Park is nearing completion. She showed the most recent photos with the doors installed.

Camps are beginning to fill; Camp Beechtree and Teen Camp have been moved to Newtown Middle School this year because of the Goodnoe construction.

The Touch a Truck program was rescheduled because of snow, but over 180 people attended. It was a tremendous success.

Kathleen Kimble has been planning programs with the Food Shed Alliance and has had great success with programs.

The Department has added an archery class which has become very popular.

Mrs. Pawlenko said that Penn State Abington has asked to use a field at Helen Randle Park. A donation will be made and Penn State will do prep and clean-up. A similar arrangement had been made with Holy Family University which has been mutually beneficial.

Member Comments

Mrs. Sutton asked for volunteers for the upcoming Arbor Day at Goodnoe Elementary/Roberts Ridge Park. She also noted that the Council Rock Green Team will be helping with Arbor Day. This group might prove to be a good resource to the Park and Rec Board for other projects which have environmental impact.

Mrs. Kelly moved to adjourn at 8:30 PM. Mr. McMenamin seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary