PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF NOVEMBER 6, 2013
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in the main meeting room. In attendance and voting were: Members Denis D’Arcy, Kathy Kelly, , Anne Porter and Susan Sutton. Also in attendance was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.
Call to Order: Mrs. Sutton, acting as chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. She noted that the meeting lacked a quorum
Eagle Scout Project: Jacob Cerami of Boy Scout Troop 74, explained to the Board that he would like to update the plan for Robert Ridge Park’s arboretum and create labels for the trees. He noted that the original plan shows only a few of the trees and some of those trees did not survive and have been replaced by different species. Many of the trees are not native to this part of the state and some are unusual specimens.
Mr. Cerami showed a sample of the plaque he would place at the base of each tree identifying the common name, scientific name and some information about the species. He would be working with Master Gardener and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society expert Russell Strover to properly identify each tree. Mr. Strover was involved in planning the original arboretum/
The Board members had some concerns about placing the plaques at the base of the trees, as the stakes proposed could interfere with Public Works’ mowing of the grass in the park. Mrs. Sutton said that she had spoken with Mr. Strover, who is recommending a screw that can be placed in the trunk of the more mature trees with the identifying tags. Smaller saplings could have a band around the trunk which can be replaced by the screw after the tree grows. She said that the trunk would need to have a 4 inch diameter before the screw type tag could be used.
Mr. Cerami said that he would like the Board’s permission to take the plan to the Board of Supervisors. He would like the project completed by January. He would consult with Mr. Strover again about how best to attach the tags to the trees.
The members were in agreement that this is an excellent project and as the arboretum grows, a much needed project. Residents will enjoy being able to identify the trees. They agreed to recommend approval to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Cerami left the meeting at this point.
The members discussed other ideas for future Eagle Scout projects. Mrs. Sutton had some concerns that some of the projects lack ongoing maintenance and follow-up. She would like troops to undertake some kind of program to maintain the projects.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that one project she would like to recommend to the scouts is markers for the trails in Clark Nature Center.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report
Mrs. Pawlenko provided the Board with copies of her weekly reports which show photographs of various programs and activities. The opening of Veterans Park was very successful. In addition to the teams’ exhibition games on all of the fields and a flag ceremony by the American Legion, Chick-fil-a provided games. The yard sale in the parking lot was also a success, with participants reporting that they were selling out completely.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the Halloween Candy Hunt was a success. About thirty fifth and sixth graders attended the hunt and pizza party at Roberts Ridge Park.
The Department sponsored its first Halloween Parade for preschoolers on the afternoon of October 30. The children visited each department where they were given candy and treats and also were allowed to climb aboard the fire engines and plows and visited the jail cells. More than 40 children attended, accompanied by their parents.
Bucks Beautiful has donated 100,000 daffodil bulbs to the Township’s parks; the bulbs will be planted in the next week by the County.
The annual candy cane hunt will be December 7, 2013, sponsored by a grant from PECO. She asked the Board members to volunteer to help at the event. It begins at 11:00 AM , so she would like help from about 10:00 AM to 11:30.
The Department will sponsor some activities at Tyler Park’s winter wonderland on December 14.
Mrs. Pawlenko has asked both the EAC and HARB to provide some educational programming for the next brochure, which will be mailed in January for programs and events for winter and early spring.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary