New Garden celebrates newest phase of completion to township park11/18/2020 12:23PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
As the late afternoon sun began to set behind the completed second phase of design for New Garden Township Park on Nov. 13, several stakeholders involved in the project gathered to recognize the collaborative efforts that made the expansion possible in a formal dedication.
In ceremonies co-hosted by the township and the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce (SCCCC), the event celebrated the expansion of the park that included the addition of a full-sized soccer field, a handicap-accessible parking lot, stormwater site improvements, and two more miles of paved multi-purpose trails.
The engineering for the project was completed by Pennoni Associates, and was built by Lancaster-based CH&N Site Construction, Inc.
The second phase of the park’s renovation was supported by the help of two grants the township received: $225,000 grant from the Public Park, Trails & Preserves Grant Program; and an additional $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnership Program.
In her welcoming remarks, township Manager Ramsey Reiner thanked current and former board supervisors for their assistance in supporting the project, as well as the township’s Public Works Department, former township Manager Tony Scheivert and township administrator Kati Parlier for her work in helping to secure grant funding.
Board vice chairman Michael Loftus recognized newly-reelected Rep. Christina Sappey of the 158th District, the Chester County Commissioners, the SCCCC and State Sen. Andy Dinniman for their support in the second phase of renovation.
“This park and what you have done here really goes back to some of my early days as a Chester County Commissioner,” Dinniman said. “When I was elected as a Commissioner in 1991, we established the Open Space Program, and as a result of that program, we can say today that over 30 percent of this county is open space in perpetuity. That’s an amazing achievement, and it was done by every commissioner and every board and through the money that legislatures from both sides got from the state.
“To get anything done takes a lot of persistence and time, so keep up the great work,” Dinniman added. “This is a great township that has had tremendous elected officers.”
In referring to the completed work behind her, Sappey said that the completion of the project required a lot of collaboration between New Garden Township, Chester County and state agencies. She commended the township for taking a “proactive vision” in incorporating wetlands, rain gardens and buffers into the park’s design, that help to provide flood control.
“Celebrating the outdoors is a good thing, but when this project was being planned, no one could imagine how important outdoor space was going to become, nor could we anticipate the urgency in addressing stormwater and erosion,” she said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in outdoor recreation during the pandemic, just as we have seen a huge increase in strong storms as a result of climate change over the last several years.
“Your work here illustrates your commitment to your residents.”
County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz said that the park’s expansion – like other investments in county green spaces – benefit both the local economy and the health of the community.
“Homes located near parks and trails increase in value, and as we all know in times like these, our parks and trails help us to de-stress – to walk, to run, to cycle, to play sports and to just sit outside and enjoy nature and our own community,” she said. “Our quality of place in Chester County is defined by the equal emphasis on progress and preservation – preservation of our opens spaces, or farm lands and of course, our parks and trails.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected]