What’s In the Works
The Park & Recreation Commission received grant funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the County of Chester to replace the footbridge over Dennis Run and construct trail improvements for the Lower Meadow Trail at the Park. The project includes replacement of the footbridge over Dennis Run with a larger bridge that will allow ALL Park users to cross the creek by meeting the width and design standards for the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). A small trail segment will be improved to connect the existing wetlands footbridge with the new Dennis Run footbridge. In addition, the Lower Meadow Trail (currently mowed) will be paved and will connect the east end of the Park with the west end of the Park. This paved trail will be built to ADA design standards to allow all Park users to enjoy the meadow and adjacent woodlands all the way to the northwest end of the meadow. Additional park benches, trash receptacles, interpretive educational signage and a butterfly garden will be added along the Lower Meadow Trail. Engineering design and permitting is underway, and the project is scheduled for construction in 2015.
Also in 2015 –
- a new informational kiosk is planned to be installed as an Eagle Scout project in 2015.
- the Park entrance and road-side signs will be replaced.
- a wetland-enhancement tree planting project is being planned for the Spring.
How Far We’ve Come !!
Phase I of East Fallowfield Community Park was completed in 2010 and was funded by East Fallowfield Township, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the County of Chester. Improvements completed as part of Phase I include the paved trail, playground, paved parking lot, the rain gardens, and landscape plantings.
In 2010, the Park & Recreation Commission also established a wonderful mowed meadow walking trail through the meadow along Strasburg Road. It has been in place for over two years and has become a very popular and well used feature of the Park. The Park & Recreation Commission has also requested that the Township manage this land area along Strasburg Road as a meadow, rather than as a mowed lawn. This means the entire meadow will be mowed only a few times per year rather than every 10 days to 2 weeks. This will encourage better wildlife habitat for song birds and other small mammals. And it will save the Township staff time and equipment and fuel costs by reducing the mowing frequency. As the vegetation will be growing taller between mowings, when it is cut, it will be hayed and removed. The mowed walking trail will be mowed frequently to maintain it as a comfortable walking environment for residents.
Also in 2010, the Park & Recreation Commission raised funds through donations from local residents and businesses to help fund construction of the Patriotic Landmark. The Landmark serves as the focal point of the Park and serves to raise awareness of the Park to the residents of our community, and presents a renewed support of our Nation. It presents both the American and State flags. The Landmark was built with private funds and grant funding from PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Residents and businesses can purchase a commemorative brick that will be a permanent part of the Landmark (see information above).
Also in 2010, the Park & Recreation Commission had three old groundwater monitoring wells “abandoned in place” and their “stick up” pipes removed. These wells were installed several years ago as part of an environmental site assessment completed for the former Strunk Chain Saw manufacturing activities and prior to transfer of the park land to the Township. Fortunately, no underground contamination was found. The three wells created “eyesores” and mowing obstructions where they “stuck up” above ground in the fields above the pond. The three wells were back-filled with grout in compliance with applicable “well abandonment” regulations and the “stick-up” pipes were removed.
In 2011, the Park & Recreation Commission constructed the picnic pavilion and the wetlands footbridge at the pond. The pavilion has become a very popular addition for Park users and has served as the center of several Park events. It also adds a very attractive feature to the landscape of the Park. The pavilion was constructed with funding from the Township and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The footbridge spans an area of expanding wetland between the woodlands and the pond. This footbridge was badly needed as the area of the former path continued to become increasingly wet and impassable. The elevated footbridge now allows Park users to easily travers the wetland area and to stop along the way and enjoy the sites and sounds of the wetland, the pond and the woodlands. The footbridge was funded by the Township and a grant from PECO.
In 2012 and 2013 efforts focused on applying for state and county grants for the bridge and trail improvements. 2014 focused on the engineering design and specifications for the improvements, pursuing grant funding for a Park Stewardship and Vegetation/Habitat Management Plan, planning replacement of the 3 Park entrance and road-side signs, planning a new informational kiosk for the Lower Meadow Trail, and initial planning for the tree planting project to enhance the wetlands in the upper meadow, among other activities.
In 2015, the Park signs will be replaced at the Park entrance (Buck Run Road) and at the corners of Strasburg Road and Buck Run Road and Strasburg Road and Doe Run Road. The original signs have outlived their planned lifespan and have deteriorated beyond repair. The Lower Meadow Trail bridge and improvements will be constructed. Wetlands enhancement tree planting, informational kiosk project, and installation of additional bluebird boxes are planned, among other activities.