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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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Awards

CENTRE REGION
PARKS & RECREATION
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State College, PA

Also see: Employee Acheivement Awards 1993-2004

1991

  • The renovation of the Park Forest Pool in Patton Township.
  • The adoption of the Walnut Springs Park Master Plan.
  • The credit card payment system was established for program registration.
  • The dedication of Lederer Park in the Borough of State College.
  • The installation of a plaque at the Park Forest Pool in honor of the late Dr. Edward Fagan.
  • The establishment of the Ridge and Valley Outing Club.
  • The cooperative efforts of the Office of Aging, State College Area YMCA, and the Department in the sponsoring of the 1991 Senior Games.

1992

  • Implemented a computerized system (the SportsLog database) for program registration that resulted in a faster response time and better storage of data.
  • Prepared grant applications for Ferguson and Harris Townships for park improvements under the PA Recreation Improvement and Rehabilitation Act.
  • Restructured the day camp program. Combined day camp programs resulting in decreasing the department costs while improving the quality of the program.
  • Revised the Department Youth Sports Policy to bring better direction for the department’s involvement in these activities.
  • Offered 55/Alive Safe Driving Program developed by AARP at the Centre Region Senior Citizens’ Center.
  • Established a committee to study the feasibility of developing a regional hike-bike facility.
  • Developed a new method of rating parks according to the condition of installed equipment resulting in our identification of those parks that need their equipment upgraded.
  • Installed new play equipment and renovated the game field area in Woodycrest Park.
  • Installed new play equipment in Homestead Park and the establishment of a game field.
  • Improved lighting at Welch Pool that resulted in better visibility for evening swim meets.
  • 12% increase in the youth soccer program.
  • CRPR included 3rd graders in our youth softball program and increased participation by 39%.
  • 26% increase in the number of youth who participated on the Welch and Park Forest Swim Teams.

1993

  • Prepared Recreation Improvement and Rehabilitation Grants for the Borough of State College and the townships of College and Harris totaling $87,965.
  • Planned a Remembrance Tree Program for implementation in 1994. The purpose of the Remembrance Tree Program is to replace or add trees to parks and recreation areas in need in the Borough of State College, College Township, Ferguson Township, Harris Township, Patton Township, and to give the donor the opportunity to remember a loved one or event.
  • Maintenance Division devised a method for automatically introducing chlorine into Welch Pool to meet standards when chemical pumps cannot keep up due to swim load and weather.
  • Recreation Division established three new programs: Club Adventure - designed especially to meet the needs of active 7th and 8th graders. Step Aerobics - a fitness program for adults, and an Adult Basketball League. In addition, a cooperative arrangement was established with the State College Area School District Food Service to provide a well-balanced, nutritious noon meal for youngsters attending Adventure Park Day Camp.
  • Expanded the wellness programs at the Senior Center to include: Line Dancing, Yoga, and Ballroom dancing. Also hosted the Senior Games in which 120 people participated.
  • The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority received a $2,500 RIRA Grant as prepared by the staff of the Centre Regional Planning Commission to conduct a Feasibility Study to determine the viability of converting a Railroad right-of-way to a pedestrian/bicycle trail.

1994

  • The Tom Tudek Memorial Park in Ferguson Township was dedicated and opened to the general public.
  • Assisted the Borough of State College and the Townships of College and Harris with grant applications under the Recreation Improvement and Rehabilitation Program. One grant was approved for $40,000 for the renovation of Central Parklet in the Borough of State College.
  • The Remembrance Tree Program was implemented and allows residents to remember a loved one or event by donating a tree to park or recreation areas. Some $2,000 has been received for planting new trees in the short period that the program has been in operation.
  • Provided leadership, facilities, and scheduling for some sixty organized recreation programs that reached some 12,000 people of all ages.
  • The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority established a Hike-Bike Trail Committee which led to the Council of Governments approval of applying for a planning grant for doing a feasibility study on a Hike-Bike Trail. The planning staff obtained the grant for the study which is now underway.
  • A year-round aquatic program was offered to the residents of the Centre Region at the H.S. Natatorium, and the Welch and Park Forest Pool. Some 1,033 youngsters participated in the American Red Cross Lesson Program at these facilities.
  • Developed programs that promoted the mental wellness of older adults at the Centre Region Senior Citizen’s Center.

1995

  • Administered a Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund Community Grant for the Borough of State College for $100,000 for the acquisition of additional park land for Orchard Park.
  • Administered a Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund Community Grant for Harris Township for $20,000 for play equipment for Nittany View Park.
  • Began discussion with Penn State University on leasing University land for a Regional Nature Center.
  • Received a Program Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society for the Department’s Friday Night Bowling Program for individuals with disabilities.
  • Increased tennis lessons for area youth from 170 in 1994 to 300 in 1995.
  • Increase attendance at Fast Pitch Clinic from 26 in 1994 to 52 in 1996.
  • Reached 500 youngsters in the Youth Softball Program for the first time.
  • Started In-Line Skating instruction for youth.
  • Extended Wee Adventure Day Camp which accommodated 64 more youngsters than were accommodated in 1994.
  • Provided 21 Rec-Park Majors with leadership training opportunities.
  • Started Community of Life Long Learning Program at the Senior Center to enhance educational opportunities at the center.
  • Started Growing Wiser Program dealing with issues of mental wellness at the Senior Center.
  • Started two new programs at the Senior Center: Tap dancing and weight lifting.
  • Retained a full-time Aquatic Supervisor for the agency.
  • Successfully computer networked the two outdoor pools with the main office so that program registration could be done at all three locations.
  • Over 1,500 youngsters participated in the American Red Cross swim lesson program conducted by our aquatic staff.
  • Replaced several items of play equipment in area parks that did not meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Standard.
  • Maintenance Division increased landscaping services to area parks.
  • Summer Concert Series started with Music Performance Trust Fund Local #660 and Downtown State College, Inc.

1996

  • Administered a Recreation and Conservation Fund Community Grant for the Borough of State College for $12,000 for the Orchard Park Extension Site Plan.
  • The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority prepares a lease agreement with the Pennsylvania State University for their Farm 12 site and the Millbrook Marsh Wetlands Area for the development of a Nature Center.
  • The agency received several awards at the 49th Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society which was held at the Penn State Scanticon from March 10-13. Director Robert H. Ayer received the Fred M. Coombs Honor Award. Recreation Supervisor, Kimberly Guadagnolo received the Outstanding New Professional Award; and Senior Center Director, Barbara Lindenbaum received a program award for the Senior Center’s Community of Life Long Learning Program.
  • In cooperation with State College Area School District’s Community Education Department, a new program called “Sports and Shorts” was started this summer. It allowed participants to take academic subjects in the morning and attend our Day Camp in the afternoon.
  • There was an increase of 85 participants in the Senior Games this year over 1995. Some 225 older adults participated in 10 sporting events in this year’s games.
  • In cooperation with the Centre Region Planning Agency, the Centre Region Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail Feasibility Study was completed by the Sear-Brown Group.
  • Larry Pharo, Manager of the State College Municipal Band, was named by the Department as their Volunteer of the Year and was honored at the Centre County Council of Human Services Volunteer Dinner in April.
  • The Department received a check for $4,153 for flood damage at Spring Creek Park from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This allowed our maintenance personnel to repair the damage to the park in the spring.
  • Our Park Supervisor in charge of maintenance, Gregory Roth, was certified as a Playground Safety Inspector.
  • The loan for the renovations of our outdoor pool facilities was retired.
  • Robert H. Ayer retires as Director of Parks & Recreation.

1997

  • Ronald J. Woodhead appointed as new Director of Centre Region Parks and Recreation.
  • Centre Region COG, in cooperation with Centre Regional Recreation Authority and Clearwater Conservancy, leased the 62-acre “Farm 12" from Penn State for the development of Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. Planning for improvements, as well as initial public programs, were started during 1997.
  • The new agency office (relocated in August to Fraser Plaza Suite #3) provides more effective services for both residents and staff.
  • Began the CRPR Strategic Planning Process, to conclude in 1998, with a Resident Survey on Parks, Recreation, and Open Space.

1998

  • Volunteer Projects in municipal parks: In September, PNC Bank / United Way Day-of-Caring volunteers completed many important maintenance jobs at 7 municipal park sites, including Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. In addition, CRPR worked with 350 youth (ages 14-18) during the July L.D.S. Youth Fellowship Conference to complete 12 projects at 9 sites.
  • The agency convened an informal coalition of volunteer sport-group representatives known as the Centre Region Sport Council to assist in reviewing the operation of existing athletic facilities and providing suggestions for improvements.
  • Continued work with SCASD Community Education in offering in-service day and special event programs at schools and at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center (Educational / Recreational Activity Days, Art in August, Summer Regional School of Excellence, and “Shorts and Sports”, a cooperative program in conjunction with our summer day camp)
  • The 1st Annual Spring Spruce-Up Day was held within Centre Region municipal parks in connection with Earth Day and other community groups from Centre County to schedule Spring clean-up events within the region.
  • CRPR developed (introduced) the Centre Region Park Partners Program, a branch of the Gifts-For-Parks Program. This program offers groups a way to be involved in preserving the beauty of the Centre Region parks.
  • The “PC Learning Lab” was developed at the Centre Region Senior Center. The 4-station lab was funded 100% by a $17,000 grant from the PA. Dept. of Aging.
  • Agency computer network hardware & software upgraded.
  • The Supervised Summer Playground program was re-introduced at 5 neighborhood municipal park sites. The “Kids Club Supervised Playground Program” was offered during the summer of 1998, and provided supervised recreational activities for youngsters entering grades 3-8.

1999

  • Received a $71,573 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create an interpretive wetland/water laboratory and a Web Page for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
  • Benefited from the established of two endowments ($26,000.00 and $12,500.00) through the Centre County Community Foundation for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
  • Initiated the “All Aboard for Millbrook” program to assist in funding the construction of approximately 1,200 feet of boardwalks and bridges at the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
  • The addition of a Site Coordinator (seasonal, part-time) at Millbrook was instrumental in the success of the Summer & Fall 1999 programs at the Nature Center.
  • Hosted 46,334 individual visits to the Welch and Park Forest Pools during their summer operating season.
  • A picnic pavilion was constructed and the parking lot was repaved at the Park Forest Community Swimming Pool. The Welch Community Swimming Pool was sandblasted and repainted.
  • Received recognition from the State College Magazine operating the Best Playground at Holmes Foster Park and the Best Park at Spring Creek Park.
  • Successful transition of the SC Area Senior Citizens Club meeting location from St. Andrews Church to the Centre Region Senior Center, increasing the usage of the Senior Center & increasing general awareness of the Center’s program offerings. In addition, the center hosted 16,451 program visits, an increase of 2,355 or 14% from the 14,096 visits in 1998.
  • Since the Remembrance Tree Program’s inception in 1994, there have been 81 trees planted in Centre Region park and recreation areas, and over $12,000 donated to the program. An engraved plastic tag is attached to the donated trees displaying the donor’s name and the type of tree. In addition, the donor receives a certificate of participation in the program.
  • Received 11,927 registrations for Centre Region Parks and Recreation programs. This is an increase of 788 or 7% from 1998. In particular, registrations for youth basketball rose from 133 to 180, an increase of 35%.
  • Sold over 2,000 discounted tickets for 18 amusement park areas, zoos, aquariums, and historical sites. Funds from this activity are used to pay for program registration costs for individuals in need.

2000

  • The agency was responsible for the ongoing maintenance and operation of 452 acres of park land, including 34 municipal parks, 2 outdoor pools, the Centre Region Senior Center, and the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. The agency acquired a new park, Haymarket Park, located in Ferguson Township.
  • The agency offered a total of 658 recreation programs for youth, adults, and seniors. Most of these programs involved more than one meeting (camps, leagues, swim lessons, aerobics, etc.) and were held at sites that included the parks, schools, pools, and the nature center. Accordingly, CRPR coordinated a total of 31,119 program registrations and 849 picnic pavilion reservations.
  • The Centre Region Senior Center served 4,183 noon-time meals and hosted 19,265 program visits during 2000. The number of program visits in 2000 increased by 17% from 1999 and by 37% from 1998.
  • A comprehensive agency website was developed, maintained, and actively promoted during 2000. The site continues to be updated almost daily, consists of over 110 web pages, and covers all aspects of agency operations. Resident response to the site has been outstanding; it provides another means to “get the word out” about CRPR services. www.CentreConnect.org/crpr
  • During 2000, Park Forest Community Pool and Wm. L. Welch Community Pool hosted a total of 46,055 recreational visits during the 100-day summer swim season. Not counting swim team or swim class visits, an average of 460 people visited the pools each day.
  • The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority proceeded with an Aquatics Feasibility Study, in partnership with funding assistance from the Commonwealth and the State College Area Family YMCA. That study will be completed during 2001. A Pool Entrance Fee Survey and also a Resident Survey was conducted. An aquatics consultant has recently been retained to complete the study project.
  • Brian Wicks was named recipient of the Theodore Martin Johnson Memorial Soccer Award.
  • Millbrook Marsh Nature Center hosted 3,290 visitors to programs during the 7-month season at the facility. It should also be noted that while municipal contributions totaled $30,000 for 2000, private cash donations to the nature center totaled $29,461 for the same period. The value of donated professional services to the nature center increases this amount by over $10,000. These facts reflect the true public-private partnership that has been cultivated since the center opened in 1997. This support has permitted major improvements to the facilities during 2000 such as the fire sprinkler system, structural repairs and improvements, and interior lighting and visitor safety improvements.
  • The Gifts-For-Parks Program, which seeks private donations for park improvements, continues to thrive with three components:

- Remembrance Tree Program: A new brochure was produced for this popular program. As of the end of 2000, a total of 127 trees has been planted in municipal parks since the program started in 1994. During 2000 alone, 31 Remembrance Trees were planted and $5,732 was donated for tree purchases.

- Park Partner Program: This program was started in 1998 and has grown to 8 municipal parks that have been “adopted” by community groups.

- Gifts-For-Parks Donations: During 2000, private donations totaling $6,200 were made for various enhancements to the parks, pools, and programs.

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The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832