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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Parks and Recreation Board
Regular Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2009

The meeting began at 7:05p.m. at Reservoir Park. Present were Sherry Spinnraker, Jack Kelly, Don Verlenden, Mike Mills, Dawn Haussler, Bob Bartmann, and Khalil Shearlds. Also present: Jeri Staiber, Lansdowne’s Recreation Director. Visitors: Virginia, Marlyn Park neighbor, Terry Sanavito, Belmont Park neighbor, and woman from Delaware Valley River Keepers.

1. Opening
1.1 New Board member appointment – Sherry announced Donald Verlenden’s appointment.
1.2 Review of Reservoir Park by Bob Bartmann – Bob brought plans that he had drawn up for proposed improvements to Reservoir Park and provided history and information about the park, including:

1.2.1 Reservoir Park is 1.4 acres

1.2.2 The park may be named ‘Reservoir Park’ but its function was never intended to be a reservoir.

1.2.3 There is a thin strip of land that runs down the east side of the park that has not been claimed and is not in the tax records. The chain link fence runs down it so that 1/3 of the land lies in the park, and the neighbor to the east uses the other 2/3rds. Bob noted that the fence will need to be repaired or torn down, and there are trees that may cause problems in the near future. He recommended that Borough Council look into acquiring that land to add to the park.

1.2.4 Falls Run runs through the park (also runs through Marlyn Park).

1.2.5 There is about 2 to 2.5 feet of silt that has built up around the stream. The stream is now washing silt out and is undercutting the bank around the water exit pipe. Bob suggested in his plans slowing the stream down by creating a pool of water and by using 100 tons of boulders placed strategically after much of the silt is removed. In order to update the park and create the ‘sunken garden’ on Bob’s plan, the embankment would need stabilization, invasives would need to be removed, and an ADA compliant ramp would need to be built.

1.2.6 There are 4 different environmental zones: 1) river, with 16″ deep pools, 2) meadow, 3) wetland, 4) upland with trees.

1.2.7 The trees in the park include: Table Dogwood, Ash, Walnut, and several evergreen trees.

1.2.8 The land has officially been a ‘park’ for 4 years now. The only improvement has been the replacement of the perimeter fence.

1.2.9 Sherry recommended that the Board request Borough Council to acquire the adjoining vacant property and another unclaimed parcel.

1.2.10 Sherry also recommended that the Board draw up a five-year improvement plan based on the plan presented by Bob Bartmann, and request that Borough Council fund that plan.

2. Minutes from April were accepted, on condition of change necessary, noted by Craig Totaro.

3. Correspondence
3.1 Belmont Park noise – Terry Sanavito, a neighbor of Belmont Park complained of basketball players’ noise every afternoon after school. He noted that in summer, park visitors are in the park long after park hours’ end, and he said that a lot of loud profanity is used, to the point that he does not take his grandkids to the park. He asked that we take this issue to Council, but was told that the one thing that can and should be done is for the Belmont Park neighbors to call 911 and complain so that the police come every time there is a problem. Repetition in police enforcement should help limit the problems over the long haul.

4. Special Project Reports 2009 – One Time or Recurring
4.1 Darby Creek Clean-up – Several Board members helped at the Pennock Terrace clean-up.
4.2 Belmont Park Clean-up – We had approx. 75 cu. yds. of wood carpet both at the big toy and at the larger swing set area (did not complete moving the pile at the big toy). We also had some mulch which was spread around the newer trees. 250 flyers were distributed the week before the event, posted at the park, library, and local shops. Community service was scheduled unexpectedly and had cleaned up the trash by 2pm and the kids were working on spreading the wood carpet when we arrived. Approximately 10 neighborhood residents showed up to help. Jeri took names and pictures to post on the website.
4.3 Marlyn Park meadow – Board discussed and agreed to leave the area on the opposite side of the stream at Marlyn Park unmowed to see what the cycle of growing grasses and wildflowers would produce. Board to hold meeting at Marlyn Park in July to review meadow.

Action item: Sherry stated she would create a flyer to hand out to the neighbors to explain the meadow experiment.

Action item: Jeri said she would notify the Borough workers not to mow the hill on the other side of the stream at Marlyn.

Action item: Bob said that he would show the Borough workers where not to mow.

4.4 Belmont Park sign – Board discussed removal of the current damaged sign and replacement with a sign similar to the sign made by the Boy Scout for Shrigley and Pennock Woods.

Action item: Jeri to call Boy Scout that made the signs and see if he would be willing to make another for Belmont.

Action item: Related to the noise and vandalism issue, Sherry requested that Khalil stop by Belmont Park and talk to the kids hanging out at the basket ball court at dusk to help create an open dialogue.

4.5 Park Day – Discussion tabled.
4.6 Banner – Dawn suggested having ‘Recreation and Parks’ banners made for use at events.

Action Item: Dawn to research lawn signs and banners, possibly to have one made in time for Earth Day on June 6th.

5. Recreation Department Park Management
5.1 One open Board position – Don Verlenden has been appointed to fill the vacant position.
5.2 Job descriptions for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary – To be discussed for inclusion in Board manual at next meeting.
5.3 Sub-committees – Review at next meeting.

Action Item: Everyone to consider what they believe the goals of the Board to be, so discussion at next meeting can pinpoint what sub-committees should be created.

5.4 Action item list – no updates at this time.

Action Item: Sherry requested that Mike take on oversight of action items and the task list.

5.5 Forms

5.5.1 Event assessment forms – to be reviewed at next meeting.

5.5.2 Park utilization form – Board utilized ‘Park Utilization’ survey form Sherry created for Earth Day. Need to review/approve for future use.

5.5.3 Event check list – Should come up with check list for events like Egg Hunt and Park Day/Movie Night so tasks and items needed are clear.

5.5.4 Event sign-in sheet – sign-in sheet for events such as Park Clean-up/Appreciation Days would be useful.

5.6 Maintenance staff string trimming trees – Board to discuss whether to buy tree guards to wrap young trees to protect them from string trimmers. Cost is $2.50 each.

5.7 Park plans – To be discussed at next meeting.

5.8 Reservoir Park fence removal – To be discussed at next meeting.

5.9 Marlyn Park right-of-way – Don brought up the path off Eldon that leads into Marlyn Park. There was discussion of petitioning Borough Council to obtain the right-of-way for this path area as the Borough does not own the land. Currently walkers have to trespass to enter the park from that side.

5.10 Open job position for Recreational Youth Games Coordinator – Jeri noted that Joe Urban had created a job description and that 5 people are interested in the position. She also noted that the Board needed to come up with a more extensive job description that covers not only basketball, but the other sports and activities that the person in this position would coordinate.

Action Item: Joe to work with Khalil to come up with the broader job description.

6. Borough Council Report, Joe Urban
Joe Urban not present. No report.

7. Calendar of Events
7.1 June 14th 2-4pm – Hays Park Appreciation Day. Discussion centered on how to encourage more people to attend the park clean-up days. Possibilities included providing snacks and beverages, creating more of a ‘party’ atmosphere, and holding games for the kids.
7.2 June 6 – Earth Day representation at the Farmer’s Market. Bob Bartmann created a great reusable folding display of all the parks, and purchased shrubs to use at the base of the folding panels. Park Utilization Survey form was on hand, as well as park brochures, the Tennis Clinic circular, and the banners were completed and used as well.

8.Recreation and Parks Board Budget Report, Jeri Staiber
Jeri distributed the budget reports. Board did not review as it grew too dark to see.

9. Park Usage Request

10. Next Board Meeting – Monday, June 15, 7:00p.m. at Belmont Park.

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