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North Hills

Ross sets Sangree Park improvement meeting for Jan. 19

Tony LaRussa
| Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Winter might be a tough time for some people to think about outdoor recreation.

But Ross officials are hoping residents can turn their attention to warm weather to share their ideas for how to improve Sangree Park.

A community meeting to discuss major improvements to the park is scheduled for Jan. 19, at Berkley Hills Lutheran Church.

“The park is under utilized,” said Commissioner Steve Korbel, who represents the township's 2nd Ward where Sangree is located. “There's a softball field and basketball court, some play equipment for the younger kids and a small pavilion. But not much else.”

The township has some ideas about what we'd like to do with the park, but the goal of this meeting is to elicit input from residents about what improvements they'd like to see there to make it better.”

Improvements to the 9.3-acre park is part of a 2011 comprehensive recreation plan the township did in conjunction with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Part of the plan included a survey of residents, who indicated that a children's spray park was among their top amenities.

Sangree Park has been identified as a good location for a sprinkler park because it is the only large park in the northeast section of Ross and within walking and biking distance of five densely-populated neighborhoods.

Township officials have not ruled out placing the spray park elsewhere or even constructing more than one.

Eloise Peet, who heads the township's recreation department, said the spray park or “splash pad” under consideration could be modeled after a facility in Red Lion in York County, which was built four years ago and was one of the first of its kind in the state.

Red Lion officials said state grants paid much of the park's cost. It's relatively inexpensive to operate because it doesn't have to be staffed by borough employees. About 80 to 100 people a day use the park, they said.

Peet said spray parks can be economical because the water used is recycled.

Ross, likewise, will seek state funding for its recreational improvements, said Korbel, adding most grants for parks require matching funds from the municipality.

“Investing in our parks is important to our residents, and we're in an extremely-good financial position to do that,” he said.

Pashek Associates, which is assisting the township with its master parks plan, will lead the Sangree Park meeting, Korbel said.

“I think residents who attend the meeting can expect to see some renderings and suggestions from the township and our consultant as to what we think would make sense in the park,” Korbel said. “But it's vital for residents to share their ideas about what we should do.”

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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