Jackson Township celebrates opening of Little Creek Community Park

Matt Enright
York Dispatch
Penn State Exension Master Watershed Steward Coordinator Jodi Sulpizio plants a tree as the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards program work together to plant 275 native trees at Little Creek Community Park in Jackson Township, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. The project was fully funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Community partners came together Friday in Jackson Township to celebrate the transformation of a former golf course into the 43-acre Little Creek Community Park.

"It's amazing. ... There's been so many partnerships and people involved in this project, so to have it all come and be appreciated and highlighted today is amazing," Spring Grove Parks and Recreation Center executive director Kate King said Friday after the ceremony.

The need for a park was first identified in 2006 with the completion of a joint comprehensive plan between Jackson and Paradise townships. In 2014, Jackson Township bought the Little Creek Golf Course, located along Route 116, containing 41 acres. That was supplemented by an additional 2 acres of land purchased in 2018.

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Two of five phases of work have been completed at the park. 

Phase one included athletic fields, rain gardens, a pavilion, a play area for toddlers, parking areas, an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walking trail, landscaping and pedestrian bridges across a stream on the property. Phase two included parking lots, a half-court basketball court, three Pickle Ball courts, two under-10 years old athletic fields, fencing and landscaping. 

King said phases three, four and five will include ball fields that can be used for football and baseball, renovation of the park's clubhouse and a playground for 5- to 12-year-olds. Those projects are anticipated to be completed in three to five years.

Support from community partners such as the York County Board of Commissioners, Spring Grove-based paper maker Pixelle and Jackson Township-based household products maker Church and Dwight was essential to the project, King said. That support also included funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

"It's outstanding to know that the community and the county is invested in a project like this," she said.

A cake celebrating the ribbon cutting of Jackson Townships' Little Creek Community Park.

Jackson Township manager Flo Ford said seeing the park open was exciting. "Everyone here played a major role in getting this to where it's at," she said. "I couldn't be happier." 

York County contributed $50,000 to the project from its portion of the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides funds to counties and municipalities across Pennsylvania.

"I think it's great for Jackson Township and the surrounding communities," York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said. "[It's] a great use of Marcellus Shale funds to enhance parks, to create a recreation playground for children and adults."