PARKS & RECREATION
State College, PA
2003 & 2004 Highlights
1. Parks facilities . . . during 2003 the agency maintained and operated 550 acres at 46 sites in the Centre Region.
2. CRPR activities remain very popular! The agency processed 30,689 customer financial transactions (registrations & reservations) with customer revenue totaling $501,714. This includes the 935 picnic pavilion reservation permits issued for 2003 for the 17 pavilions.
3. Outdoor pool visits: In spite of a record-setting year for rain, Welch and Park Forest Community Swimming Pools hosted a total of 48,070 visits during the 100-day swim season.
4. The Centre Region Senior Citizen Center hosted a record number of program visits (17,981). A p/t Program Assistant position was added during 2003. Plans are underway to renovate and expand the center by 1,470 sq. ft.
5. The Sports Illustrated / National Recreation & Park Assn. Sportstown Award: through a competitive selection process, the Centre Region was honored as the “Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Sportstown” of Pennsylvania. This recognition highlighted the value of long-term municipal cooperation in the region.
6. Child Safety Policy / Parent & Coach Outreach: The agency implemented a policy requiring criminal background checks and child abuse clearances for staff and volunteers working with youth, and initiated efforts to provide a formal training program for CRPR youth league coaches and for CRPR youth league parents - with the support of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (www.nays.org ). The training program will expand in the future.
7. Regional Cooperation “Premium Grade”: Regional Cooperation took giant leaps forward in 2003 with the occupancy of the new COG building (including the CRPR offices), and with a joint grant application to PA DCNR to acquire municipal parklands at Oak Hall (75-acres spanning two municipalities) for active recreation activities.
8. During 2003, the CRPR Website hosted 1,058,479 hits from 105,294 visitors - an average of 288 visitors per day - from 33,109 unique IP addresses.
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.
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