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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Centre Region Parks & Recreation
6 Jan 08

Primary Highlights of 2007:

        Centre Region Parks & Recreation agency offered 769 public recreation programs and special events which involved 114,000 participants. The agency processed 28,346 customer financial transactions, including 984 group reservations for pavilions. Of course, most park visits involve no fees or reservations and are not reflected in these figures.

        The agency operated and maintained 50 sites totaling 761 acres during 2007, including 46 municipal parks, two outdoor swimming pools, the Centre Region Senior Center and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

        Community interest in the agency remains very high. As an example, during CY 2007 the agency website hosted a total of 1.76 million hits from a total of 210,151 visitors; an average of 575 visitors per day.

•        Cooperative Advancements for Capital Projects:

As a result of the 2006 approval of the Park Forest Pool Master Site Plan, in 2007 the Authority was awarded a $350,000 grant from PA DCNR for construction assistance. The project is moving forward with construction scheduled to start in August 2008.

During 2007 the Authority and the 5 municipalities jointly selected a Concept Option for the Welch Pool Renewal and established a maximum project cost of $5.4 million. Final development and the approval of the Master Site Plan will proceed in 2008.

As a result of the $38,000 state grant awarded in 2006 to develop a Master Site Plan for the COG parklands at Oak Hall, during 2007 the Scope of Work and Request for Proposals was approved by PA DCNR and the five participating municipalities. That planning process will proceed during 2008.

With funding by Ferguson Township (up to $100,000) and by PA DCNR ($159,000), the arrangements for the acquisition of the 75-acre Whitehall Road parklands for a regional park will be ready for a closing in March / April 2008.

The Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Capital Campaign now stands at $1,005,800 in pledges as part of the Quiet Phase of the Building Fund Campaign - representing 80% of the local goal of $1.25 million. To compliment the campaign, the release of the $1.25 million authorized by the State Legislature from the State Capital Budget has been requested from Gov. Rendell.

          PA Conservation Corp Grants: The Authority submitted a grant application to continue this partnership for the 7th consecutive year.

2007 Aquatic Highlights

- During 2007 the two community swimming pools opened on schedule and hosted 51,416 visits (compared to 50,696 in Summer 2006). The pool budgets recovered from the unplanned operating deficits of 2004 through 2006, and the special event nights at the pools proved to be increasingly popular. Safety remained a top priority by staff.

- The Group Swim Lessons for Youth in the evenings have continued to be popular programs. These lessons take place year-round at the High School Natatorium. In 2007 the programs hosted 607 registrations (compared to 614 in 2006). Likewise, the popular One-On-One "Triple-O" Youth Summer Swim Lessons have continued to thrive with 81 registrations, and the 4th annual "Pedal, Splash and Dash" Youth Triathlon was a big success with 84 registrations.

- The Park Forest Pool Renewal Project continues to move forward. In 2006, the Master Site Plan was developed and approved by the

Authority and the participating municipalities with a project cost not to exceed $3.2 million. Following the state's announcement of a $350,000 grant towards construction, the preparation of detailed construction plans and bid documents got underway, and the COG Finance Committee has begun to prepare a funding strategy for the renewal of both pools.

- With municipal and state grant support, the development of the Welch Pool Master Site Plan got underway with the execution of a 25-year land lease from SCASD. A conceptual option has been selected by COG and CRRA with a total project cost not to exceed $5.4 million, and the consultants are now preparing the various layout options so that the Master Site Plan can be finalized.

2007 Senior Center Highlights

- The Senior Center served 4,084 noontime meals and hosted 31,152 program visits during the year.

- Three new chartered bus trips met with enthusiastic responses from participants. These bus trips generate the greatest revenue of all the fee-based programs.

- The Healthy Steps in Motion Exercise Program was initiated and met with a very favorable response. This program encourages "couch potatoes" to start exercising safely, and allows the more fit participants to continue exercising and challenge themselves. This program is free and is part of a health promotion from the PA Dept. of Aging.

- Due to the cooperation of the Centre County Office of Aging, Mount Nittany Medical Center and Nittany Snow Shoe Home Health Service, the Senior Center provided 223 free flu shots to adults 60+.

- The Centre County Senior Games continued to be a popular program. This year over 200 participants took part in 7 sports. Varied business sponsors enable the program to operate on a modest $5 registration fee, as well as generating additional revenue.

- Programs offering alternative approaches to health have been well received, such as the Boost Your Brain Power Series, "Mindfulness", Tai Chi, Gentle Yoga and the informal brain booster programs offered several times a month.

2007 Program Accomplishments (Sports, Special Events, Camps, Fitness)

- Continued the effort to grow Adult Sports Leagues & Fitness Programs. The adult sports leagues remained popular with basketball and softball keeping the same amount of teams although they each had more individual participants. The flag football league grew from 14 to 18 teams and 2 divisions. The volleyball league added 1 team but also had more individual participants. More softball teams could be added with the addition of a third field. Also, the adult soccer program grew but is limited based on SCASD facility availability.

- Continued to develop the new Start Smart youth programs. The Start Smart programs all grew with 1 more football and golf session added in 2007. The soccer program had 4 additional sessions in 2007. More sessions of each program will be added in 2008 as space and resources allow.

- Assisted with the development of a Sport Field Reservation System, which will go into effect for Spring 2008.

- Summer Day Camps: 2007 was a record year for the CRPR Summer Day Camp program that includes the Wee KIDVenture, KIDVenture & Martial Arts & Culture Camp. There were 795 registrations for all these camp programs, which is a 9.2% increase over 2006. While the numbers for Wee were down throughout the summer, the other camp had great attendance which more then helped to make up for it. I am continuing to evaluate the Wee program to stat attractive and competitive with other similar programs. The Teen Wild Wednesday Get-away weekly field trips also increased in 2007. We were able to provide to 29 teens four trips to fun and exciting destinations in and around the Centre Region. This was in increase from 17 participants that we had in 2006.

- Special Events: Touch a Truck 2007 was again very well attended with 300+ participants and parents. We were able to attract more vehicles for the children to climb on and explore, while increasing partnerships and relationships with a variety of businesses, departments and organizations in the area. Dark in the Park, held in October in partnership with Schlow Centre Region Library, had to be held indoors due to inclement weather. Even with the change in venue, this has become a seasonal favorite in the community. We had about 145 participants. The Halloween Costume Parade was once again a huge success. With the help of so many volunteers and the generosity of the State College Lions Club, we had a record crowd of over 2,100 parade participants!

2007 Nature Center Highlights

MMNC Chart- During 2007, the nature center hosted 8,622 program visits, a 24% increase from 2006, which demonstrates the continued popularity of programs despite the seasonal facilities. This count includes 3,387 children visiting from scout groups, charter schools and from five different school districts.

- 93 volunteers contributed a total of 994 hours during 2007 at a value of $13,916 (using a rate of $14/hr), including the services of the MMNC Advisory Committee.

- The nature center held the "Earth Day Birthday" event for the first time in April 2007 and had a record attendance of 410 people - the highest ever at any event held at the center, including past Spring Creek Days. This is especially amazing because it was a first time event. The 5th Annual Historic Harvest Festival was held in November 2007 with 350 visitors to the event, higher than any Harvest Festival in the past.

-Additional pledges for the Building Fund Campaign were received, which brought the total of all pledges to $1,005,800. Architectural drawings for the Spring Creek Education Building and development of the Wetland Laboratory are in progress.

-For 2007, a Seasonal Program Coordinator was hired for 9-months to teach additional programs and be on-site to oversee programs & staff during activities. This new position was instrumental in the increased attendance and revenue for 2007.

2007 Parks Highlights

        Provided general Parks Maintenance Services

        Installed bollards & vehicle control devices installed at Circleville Park (This work will be continued at other parks.)

        Spring Creek garage addition complete except for installing the overhead garage door (ordered c/o contractor).

        Playground safety renovations completed at Blue Spring Park.

        New apparatus has been delivered for Suburban Park and the swing safety pit has been constructed.

        Sunset Park equipment has been delivered and assembled; installation is pending.

        Thompson Woods Preserve - new signs installed. The construction of an info kiosk pending work by the Eagle Scout.

        The 2007 PA Conservation Corp work was completed; the grant for FY 2008 was prepared and submitted.

        The nature center boardwalk extension (1,200 ft.) is complete except for the final 50 ft. loop to Puddintown Rd.

        Installed new swing set at Fasick Park.

        Replaced roof on the Kaywood Park pavilion.

        Built and installed picnic tables in single table shelters.

        Hosted the 2007 Keystone State Games for Men’s Lacrosse (for the 2nd year)

        Started planting in the new, Native Tree Nursery at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

        Planted 16 Remembrance Trees and installed 2 memorial benches.

        Integrated the Tudek Community Gardens & Dog Park into the park system.

        Installed all new floor boards and stairs on deck at Oak Hall rental house.

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