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A Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects design team member recently endorsed a “neighborhood park” theme as the best option for Spring Garden Township Commissioners to consider for recreation at the new Tri Hill Road administrative facility.

Three recreation concepts will be discussed at a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Tri Hill Municipal Building, 340 Tri Hill Road.

The 3.5 acres commissioners are working with should be “maximized over all four seasons,” said YSM Landscape Architects President Ann Yost at the Aug. 8 commissioners meeting.

More: Spring Garden planning for new municipal complex by April 2020

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The neighborhood park option, Yost said, would eliminate “all competitive use of the park facilities.” It would neither have a baseball field, nor would it have a multipurpose flat field, she explained.

“It’s really saying that it’s a neighborhood park,” she emphasized. “People can walk here, let’s expand and enhance those opportunities.”

There would be an “oval walking track,” which could fit a flat field in the center sized for children under age 8, she described. Anyone who wants to “throw a Frisbee, catch a ball or practice soccer,” she said, could do that.  

In addition, a neighborhood park would provide space for a picnic pavilion and three activities: tot lot, youth playground and splash pad, Yost confirmed.

“The splash pad is a new idea, but it’s something that’s very popular,” she said. “We have a couple in the county now, and we’re hearing a lot of people asking for them in their parks.”

The neighborhood park option is the third of the three concepts being considered.

The first option, a “recreation concept multipurpose field,” is a flat multipurpose field for “soccer, lacrosse, or other flat field sport,” Yost said. It includes a picnic pavilion, a youth playground and one full-sized high school basketball court, she said.

It eliminates the baseball field, she continued.

The second option, a “recreation concept baseball field,” is “what we have now,” Yost said. It doesn’t offer room for any other recreational activity, she noted.

“It’s the only 70-foot baseline field in the township,” she said, later adding, “it fits on the plan, but it doesn’t fit well because of foul ball considerations.”

Foul ball territory is “very close” to community and residential areas, Yost explained. But, the challenge could be “mitigated,” she said.  

“There’s a trend in baseball fields to go with tall straight polls and netting,” Yost said. “You can drop the netting in the off season. On a small site like this, I don’t know if it’s going to be esthetically pleasing.”

Board president Tom Warman noted at the commissioners Aug. 8 meeting that a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant requires 0.5 acres must go to police.  

The new municipal complex — located at the Tri Hill Road property — is a one-level municipal building that will house an administrative office as well as police and recreation departments. There will also be space for public meetings.

 

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