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Patton Township park plan to focus on improving paths

Construction on a new bike path has begun along Circleville Road. Patton Township residents are asking leaders for more walking and biking paths in parks.
Construction on a new bike path has begun along Circleville Road. Patton Township residents are asking leaders for more walking and biking paths in parks. CDT file photo

The residents of Patton Township are pleased with their parks, they just wish there were more bike and pedestrian paths.

Members of the township’s Recreation Advisory Committee presented a final draft of the long-range parks plan Wednesday to the Board of Supervisors. The plan, which covers 2015-2024 examines “current and future needs for parks and recreation facilities and makes recommendations for development, land acquisition and design standards,” according to the plan.

Supervisors unanimously approved the plan.

“This is actually the fourth parks plan since 1989,” RAC Vice Chairwoman Cindy Solic said. “The best part is seeing a lot of these parks come to fruition and actually be completed.”

Work began on the plan last fall, she said, with a parks survey to township residents. About 1,800 surveys were mailed to randomly selected households in December.

According to the presentation, Circleville Park and Patton Woods Natural Recreation Area remain the top used parks in the township, with Bernel Road Park coming in third.

Residents like and use our parks, Solic said, but are looking for additional bike and pedestrian pathways to move easily between neighborhoods and parks. A dedicated tax millage rate, known as the Parks Fund, should be used to aid in the investigation, design and construction of these paths, the plan said.

The plan identified three priority path connections: a Circleville Road bike path from Circleville Park to Gray’s Woods Boulevard, a Valley Vista bike path from Little Lion Drive to Devonshire Drive and an Oakwood bike path from Benjamin Court to Bellefonte Central Rail.

The township is looking at the Centre Region Council of Governments-proposed regional bike plan, Supervisor Jeff Luck said, which also strongly parallels some of the bike path suggestions.

Additionally, the board should consider revisiting the Bernel Road Park master plan, Solic said. Other regional parks have completed construction or are in development, and offer numerous sports fields — something that was proposed for future phases of park development.

In the past, residents have requested additions in other areas, she said, like Circleville Park.

“We felt really strongly that Circleville was complete, so we didn’t want to do anything additional there,” she said. “But Bernel is not complete — there are additional phases there, and this is the time to be able to look at that master plan and see if any of these things would be appropriate for that spot.”

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