Centre Region Parks and Recreation has enjoyed a long history of support from residents and municipal officials. All community residents benefit from the prior efforts of those professionals in Centre Region who have come before us. The long-standing practice of municipal cooperation has permitted a community-wide investment in the benefits of parks and recreation services.
In 1927, Holmes Foster Park was donated to Centre Region Parks and Recreation. One year later, a Resolution was passed, creating the first State College Borough Recreation Board, consisting of five members. Eighteen years later, the first recreation director was hired. Throughout the years, Centre Region Parks and Recreation continued to grow, while being funded and operated by the School District.
In 1968, the Centre Region Council of Governments agreed to take over Parks and Recreation financing, freeing the school district of all responsibility. However, the district would continue to make school facilities available for CRPR programs. The school district continued operating the Adult Education portion of the Parks and Recreation program.
In 1969, new Parks and Recreation programs were introduced including neighborhood crafts, square dancing, ballet, ballroom dancing, adult touch football, open gym, social recreation for handicapped children, and youth club programs for Junior High students.
The Parks and Recreation department continued to grow and expand, and in 1982, was rewarded for its growing excellence. The Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs (DCA) selected the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Department for an award in its Community Recreation Award Program. The Department was one of only three in the state to receive an award in the competitive award category for interagency cooperation.
In 1983, the department was again recognized as one of the leading departments in the state of Pennsylvania for its work on the “Life, Be In It” program and was given a Merit Award by the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs.
In 1990, Ferguson Township acquired new park lands, the Tom Tudek Memorial Park and they received a $100,000 grant from the State Recreational Improvement and Rehabilitation Act Program for that purpose. In 1994, the park was dedicated and opened to the public, and Centre Region Parks and Recreation began the maintenance and day-to-day management of the park.
In 1996, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority set a goal to acquire land from Penn State and prepared a lease agreement with the Pennsylvania State University for their Farm 12 site and the Millbrook Marsh Wetlands Area for the future development of a Nature Center. In 1997, Farm 12 was acquired, and plans were established to develop the site into a Nature Center.
By the year 2000, the Parks and Recreation Department was offering 600+ programs for local residents of all ages. The agency was responsible for the on-going maintenance and operation of 452 acres of park land, including 34 municipal parks, two outdoor pools, the Centre Region Senior Center, and the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. By 2002, a pavilion, two sun shelters, and a boardwalk were constructed at the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
By 2003, the agency had expanded and was maintaining and operating 550 acres at 46 sites in the Centre Region. Over the years, the Agency has continued to maintain new park lands, expand programming, and make updates to its properties.
Please read the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Historical Timeline for a complete history of the Agency’s development; this timeline includes the years 1927-2012. From 2013 forward, the Agency captured its history and data via the Annual Report process, now referred to as Annual Agency Snapshots.