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Markvue Manor park plan unveiled

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 11:03 p.m.
A raindrop falls from a leaf.
Evan Sanders | Trib Total Media
A raindrop falls from a leaf.

A 6.5-acre former park in the Markvue Manor housing plan in North Huntingdon could be revitalized into a neighborhood park with a small playground, picnic area, basketball court, paved trail and open lawn, but not converted into a township-wide recreation facility, a landscape architect told the township commissioners.

“It's a less than ideal piece of topography,” for a park, Richard P. Rauso, a Level Green landscape architect who designed a plan for a park, told the commissioners last week.

The former park, which once held a ballfield and a pavilion, is heavily wooded and has only 1.3 acres that are developable for recreation, Rauso said. The park also could have additional elements, such as a hillside slide to take advantage of the topography, benches and trash receptacles, all of which would cost about $366,000,

Funding is available through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Growing Greener grant program, Rauso said. The state grant requires the local municipality to cover 50 percent of the cost, either in money or in-kind services, Rauso said.

North Huntingdon Commissioner Mike Faccenda said the Markvue Manor park, which the township acquired in 2004, could be part of an overall recreation plan. North Huntingdon is conducting a recreation survey.

“You need to have a field to make it successful,” Faccenda said.

With the limited developable land, the site would only be large enough for a park for Little League youngsters, Rauso said. If restrooms were added, that would make the project even more expensive.

The site is more suitable for a neighborhood park than a municipal park, Rauso said. There is no room for parking at the site and placing parking in the developable land would take too much space.

If it were to be converted into a municipal park, the commissioners said it is likely visitors would be parking in the neighborhood.

Commissioner Duane Kucera, a retired North Huntingdon police officer, said the park had been a haven for drinking and drug parties in the past. Those problems would return if the park is made more accessible, Kucera said.

Commissioner Richard Gray said that the site was to be left a green space when the township acquired the property.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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