What 3 outdoor parks in Center County are doing to improve


View of the construction site at Talleyrand Park on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in Bellefonte.

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Appreciation of the outdoors is a deeply rooted value throughout central Pennsylvania. Here are three outdoor parks in Center County that are starting construction or making improvements so residents can get out of the house and experience nature.

Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte

In July, work to restore certain banks begins in Talleyrand. The money came from a Community Conservation and Partnerships Program grant of $ 110,000 from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Talleyrand Park Committee, the Center County Conservation District, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Borough of Bellefonte all donated money to secure the grant.

Two other projects funded by the DCNR grant began last week: a restoration and upgrade of the white pergola near the suspension bridge over Spring Creek and the addition of an ADA accessible walkway from West High Street at the track. Both projects are carried out by Jack Spierly Construction.

Deputy Borough Director Don Holderman said he estimated the work would be completed by October 26, just before the October 27 Fall Festival in Talleyrand.

Over the next month, Holderman said, Lycoming Supply Co. will begin additional work at Talleyrand using $ 89,804 from the Community Development Block Grant Center County commissioners will take a final vote on October 23. This work includes extending the brick path from the station to the railroad bridge, a fence around the playground near the railroad tracks to prevent children from running on the tracks, and a Potter Street guide rail for discourage people from crossing the tracks at dangerous crossings.

Tom Ridge Wetland Reserve, Julian

Last week, the State Department of Community and Economic Development awarded a $ 250,000 grant to the State College’s Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation to build an ADA accessible wildlife center in the Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve. to Julian.

This project has been under construction since last year.

The wildlife center – the first of its kind in central Pennsylvania – will feature a one-mile accessible walkway designed as a boardwalk, featuring a fishing platform on Bald Eagle Creek and ‘an educational pavilion with picnic tables and toilets.

A call for tenders on the project will be launched in the winter. Construction of the new center is expected to begin in the summer with an inauguration in the fall of 2019.

Tri-Municipal Park, Hall of the Center

In August, construction began on the first section of the future trimunicipal park, located in Potter Township on Upper Brush Valley Road, across from Sammi’s greenhouse, began.

In 2007, Center Hall Borough, Gregg Township and Potter Township purchased land from Penn State for the park with the help of a grant from DCNR.

This year alone, nine members from the three townships formed a nonprofit organization to oversee the park’s finances, operations and long-term plans. The first section of the park will be funded by a DCNR grant of $ 315,778 which was matched by a PennVest grant of $ 215,778 and a loan of $ 107,891.

“We hope to make the park work with donations,” said Keri Miller, TMP board member and Gregg Township supervisor. “The more money we can collect, the more we can add to the park.”

Miller said TMP’s board of directors has budgeted around $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 in donations for the park this year, but hopes to generate more.

The three townships, according to a press release, are promoting the park as a recreation space for the Penns Valley area and the school district. Its first section will include a one-mile walking trail, two multi-purpose sports fields and a sand volleyball court with a future pavilion. A nine-hole Frisbee golf course that already exists in another part of the park will become an 18-hole course when construction is complete.

Miller said Ameron Construction is expected to be completed with the first section of the park by December of this year. The hiking trail will be open to the public in the spring of 2019 and the fields will be open next fall.

Future plans for the park include the addition of baseball and softball fields, a playground, orchard, open natural spaces and a picnic area.

This story was originally published September 24, 2018 1:13 p.m.

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