A recent Centre Region Parks and Recreation survey asked residents what features they most appreciate in their parks. The results clearly indicate that residents crave open green space, walking trails and areas for passive recreation.
Orchard Park satisfies the top requests of residents, and the hundreds of people who utilize the beautiful and functional green space daily appreciate its responsive design. The multipurpose nature of the green space provides families and friends the opportunity to gather for a litany of diverse activities ranging from pickup games to kite flying to tai chi to picnics.
The proposal for a 35,000-square-foot concrete/steel/wood skate park would require the destruction of the intensely utilized and decadeslong-established green space. With the development of a regional park less than three-tenths of a mile away, and with more than 100 acres to fill, a regional park is a more logical choice for a facility of this magnitude.
Transferring this proposal to the COG Regional Parks Initiative is fiscally more responsible for borough taxpayers. Because this concept will attract people from outside of the borough, it makes sense to give these individuals a say in the plan, and also allow them to contribute financially to its associated maintenance costs. This is a regional issue and not a neighborhood concern, and would be best managed by all of the municipalities. In order to protect the taxpayers, the borough must be willing to remove this proposal from the CIP and place it in the hands of the Council of Governments.
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Shannon M. Jones, State College