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Officials in Indiana Township seek ideas for park improvements

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

From the freshly planted trees at Middle Road Park to the new pavilion to be constructed at Rural Ridge, there seems to be ongoing improvements to Indiana Township recreation spots.

With five parks that are expansive — more than 100 acres — and busy from spring through fall, Parks and Recreation Board Secretary Megan Carson said members could use some help in pitching ideas to upgrade the ball fields, pavilions and playgrounds.

“We haven't heard from anybody in the public forum for two years,” she said.

“We want to let people know we're open to their opinions.”

The parks and recreation board meets three times a year to devise plans, review budgets and formalize recommendations to the township supervisors.

It has limited capabilities; members don't actually approve purchases or construction, but they wield power in that they suggest to supervisors any viable plan for improvements.

For example, 20 trees were donated and planted in Middle Road Park through TreeVitalize based on a grant application from the parks and recreation committee. The park sits along Red Maple Lane behind Middle Road Volunteer Fire Department and has more than 40 acres of athletic fields, playgrounds and a concession stand.

A second grant for 30 more trees to be planted at Middle Road is pending.

Carson said the group is compiling an upgrade plan for Dorseyville Park, a neighborhood spot located off of Saxonburg Boulevard. It currently consists of a small pavilion and a tennis court.

There also is a $15,000 grant coming toward the construction of a new pavilion at Rural Ridge Park, near the basketball court and athletic field. Work will replace a smaller pavilion there now.

“Spring is upon us,” Carson said. “The parks will soon be in full swing and we want to hear from people.”

The board meets next at 7:15 p.m. May 2 at the township building. Ideas or concerns are welcome, she said.

“I want to encourage residents to approach us with new ideas for the parks,” she said.

“They are the ones who use them, so we want their feedback.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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