Antrim Township adds full-time parks director
When Cheryl Walburn plows snow from the paths at Antrim Township Community Park, there's usually someone walking or running right behind her.
The main park off Grant Shook Road is well-used year-round, additional acreage was purchased last year and growing needs made the creation of a full-time parks director position a logical step, according to Jennifer Becknell, township secretary-treasurer.
Walburn, who has worked for the township part time for three years, was named parks director in January. Rodney Eberly, previously both road master and parks director, can now concentrate on roads.
"My heart is in outdoor programs. I just love being outside," said Walburn, who joined the township after managing Pennsylvania Girl Scout camps for 21 years before property downsizing.
Much of her time will spent outdoors mowing grass, removing snow, fixing lights and generally caring for the main 135-acre ATCP upper park area, adjacent 7-acre Martin's Mill Bridge Park and the 66 acres to the northwest purchased last year. The park system also includes Enoch Brown Park and the township mows the grass at Ebbert Spring Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park, too.
Talk about long-term development of the new land at Antrim Township Community Park is in the early stages, but new bikes trails should be ready by fall.
"It's a community park and we want to serve the community," said Walburn, who also will oversee the rental and use of playing fields at ATCP. The fields are used throughout the warm months not just by local soccer, baseball and softball teams, but also for regional and state tournaments. Pavilion rentals will continue to be handled by the township office.
Walburn's enjoyed getting to know the regular users and noted, "There are quite a few of them."
Among the most avid users are the four-legged variety, who frequent the dog park along with their owners. The dog park is currently closed as the frost is coming out of the ground, making the turf vulnerable to lasting damage by "big dog feet, little dog feet and people feet," Walburn said.
She hopes to improve communication about when and why the dog park is closed with signs and information on the township website and Facebook page.
Another one of Walburn's long-term goals is to introduce community programs, such as maple sugaring and tree walks.
Walburn also will facilitate the work of the parks committee, including the annual Park Facilities Grant Program.
She got her feet wet quickly with the grant process. The township received requests totaling $84,000, and on the recommendation of the committee, supervisors on Feb. 23 awarded a total of $40,000 to:
Kauffman Ruritan — $4,350: field drag with broom and wheels; landscape trees
Shady Grove Improvement Association — $5,000: pave driveway
Jerome R. King Playground Association — $5,000: tennis court repair
State Line Ruritan Club — $6,550: add walking trail to plot plan; overlay asphalt and reline basketball court
G-A Baseball/Softball Association — $3,800: chain link fencing at Kauffman Complex
G-A Fastpitch Softball — $2,300: breakaway bases; lime
Greencastle AYSO — $2,000: replace goal nets; white and orange field paint
Greencastle Area Youth Foundation (High Line Train Station) — $6,000: walkway paving and handrails; historical markers and displays; driveway millings
Tayamentasachta — $5,000: replace pavers on patio
The Ruritan Clubs State Line, Kauffman and Shady Grove have been allocated an additional $5,000 each for other improvements at their facilities.