This is a graphic based on data collected by Centre Region Parks & Recreation in 2008, about what community members surveyed at that time wanted to see in the proposed regional parks.
From about 2002 to the present, soccer, lacrosse, softball and tennis proponents have been extremely engaged with CRPR staff and the CRPRA board to promote their desire for active sports facilities as a higher regional priority than green space/open space facilities.
This data set shows overwhelming community support for passive uses, similar to uses proposed by the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors in a March 2018 memo to CRPRA and endorsed by Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition in a July 2018 memo to CRPRA, urging that acreage in the proposed Whitehall Road Regional Park be placed into conservation, pollinator plantings, meadows, reforestation, walking trails and other water conservation uses.
These graphics and notes can be used by anyone who wants to promote water-protective public land use at upcoming public meetings, especially the COG General Forum meeting on July 30, 7 p.m. at 2643 Gateway Drive.
Another point, not specifically highlighted in the notes on the graphic – is that regional park amenities data (both inventories of existing facilities and needs assessments) is extremely outdated.
It would make sense to urge COG General Forum representatives to postpone regional decisions about public land use at COG- and FT-owned Whitehall Road Regional Park until after the Regional Comprehensive Parks, Recreation and Open Space Study is completed in 2019.
From the RFP: “The purpose of this study is to evaluate and make forward thinking recommendations on the parks and recreation opportunities in the six Centre Region municipalities. A particular focus will be the facilities, programming, funding, and governance structure of the Agency.”
That two-year study process was funded by COG General Forum back in 2017 partly as a result of the TB/WRRP fight, which highlighted the lack of a comprehensive regional parks needs assessment and plan. The study will include an updated inventory of all park facilities (regional, municipal, school district, etc.) and an updated, data-supported needs assessment.
The bid process for a consultant is now open, bids are due by August 7, and the study should be completed by next summer.