York completes Nixon Park master plan

David Weissman
  • The 10-year master plan for Richard Nixon Park includes desire for more parking and natural playground.
  • The park, in Springfield Township, is the only park in the county to ban bikers, horses and dogs.

York County Parks and Recreation Department recently finalized its master plan for Richard Nixon County Park in Springfield Township.

"This will guide our decisions there for the next 10 years," parks director Tammy Klunk said at a county commissioners meeting Wednesday.

Klunk said the plan was a culmination of two years of planning and public meetings calling for recommendations. Highlights of the plan include a desire for more parking, a natural playground — meaning one that incorporates children interacting more with nature — and additional classrooms.

The 190-acre park, which features a 14,000-square-foot nature center, is the only park in the county where bikers, horses and dogs are not allowed.

Aubree Hissong,7, uses her sense of touch to feel a seed pod from wild grasses while on a nature walk at Richard M. Nixon County Park, Thursday, October 13, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

Klunk said the public expressed a desire to keep Nixon Park as a quiet, passive recreational area, and the master plan reflects that desire.

The park also is  in the process of adding a new wetlands habitat.

Nixon Park wetlands construction almost complete

Park officials said in April that construction of the wetlands was nearing completion, but it likely wouldn't be open to the public until spring 2017 in order to allow plants and wildlife time to settle.

The habitat, which is being built to replace wetlands being disturbed by an Interstate 83 improvement project, will allow the park to extend its hiking trails and will be used as a teaching tool.

A red eared slider sits on a log in the pond at Richard M. Nixon County Park, Thursday, October 13, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo