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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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4 Jan 05 (updated 12 Jan 05)

TO:    Mr. James C. Steff, Exec. Director Centre Region COG

RE:    2004 Agency Highlights for Centre Region Parks & Recreation

            Your memo of December requested a brief list (4-6 items) of our agency’s 2004 accomplishments for consideration by Mr. Klees, submitted by 10 Jan 05. While each smile we create is noteworthy, we’ve boiled them down to the “Big 5" accomplishments for 2004:

1.         Oak Hall Parkland Grant:

The $300,000 grant from DCNR to help COG purchase 68 acres of parklands at Oak Hall represents (1) the Commonwealth’s confidence in the history of municipal cooperation in the Centre Region, (2) the value of municipal parks in the Centre Region, and (3) the opportunity to consider their vision of enhancing that cooperation - extending the shared capitalization from the pools, nature center, and senior center to a regional park. During 2005 the Ad Hoc Regional Park Committee will continue to develop recommendations to that end, for consideration by the COG General Forum. A related highlight is that College Township stepped up to provide the bulk of the local share of that grant - for the future benefit of all residents in the region. It is noted that with the addition of Oak Hall parkland in 2005, total municipal parkland in the Centre Region will be 1,000 acres.

2.         Centre Region Senior Center Expansion & Renovation:

Working in partnership with State College Borough, Centre County, and 5 municipalities, the COG participated in a $140,000 project to expand and renovate the Centre Region Senior Center. The ribbon-cutting for the expanded center was held on June 30. The $45,000 share paid by COG utilized Capital Reserve Funds, and the balance was paid by State College Borough (as the building owner). The Senior Center had used the original area since it was constructed 15 years ago and the expansion increased the center by 1/3 (expanding into the offices formerly occupied by Centre Region Parks & Recreation). In conjunction with the renewed 5-year lease with State College Borough, Centre County Office of Aging agreed to continue their 25% rental assistance for the entire space.

3.         Millbrook Marsh Nature Center:

The regional nature center continued to compile a remarkable history. The efforts of a year-round supervisor (authorized in March 2003), combined with noteworthy community support, greatly enhances that success. Millbrook Marsh Nature Center program visits increased by 22% over 2003 - to a record 5,573 program visits. Countless other visitors have enjoyed the now-completed boardwalk network, thanks to the efforts of the PA. Conservation Corps and the CRPR Parks Crew. Municipal contributions in 2004 to the nature center were $20,000; cash contributions to the nature center during 2004 totaled $38,328. When the value of volunteers are added, the nature center has generated $4 in outside resources for each dollar from municipal contributions (since it was created in 1997).

4.         Customer Services Provided:

During 2004, the agency provided program services through 25,085 customer transactions (program registrations and admissions) including 865 picnic pavilion reservations for group uses. Most of those program registrations involved multiple meetings or classes. In addition, effective park maintenance services permitted thousands to simply enjoy the many municipal parks in the region. Overall, the agency remains as a high-visibility demonstration of the benefits of municipal cooperation.

5.         Parks & Recreation Website Statistics:

The statistics from the CRPR webserver help to measure, to some extent, how much our residents want to know about CRPR & municipal services. “What opportunities do they provide for me / my family?” The up-to-date information provided (over 360 web pages) permits residents to explore recreation options on-line and then enjoy their various parks in-person, or to review available recreation programs. During 2004 the agency website hosted 1,097,806 hits from 109,668 visitors - an average of 301 visitors per day. During 2005 the agency intends to place all registration and reservation functions on-line, so that customers will be able to select and pay for a CRPR program or reservation using the Internet.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

cc:       CRRA / CRPR Board
CRPR Supervisors & Support Staff

View 2004 Annual Program Report

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