Public forums to determine best uses for park

January 07, 1998

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

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Public forums to determine best uses for park


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Township's massive Pine Hill Regional Recreation Area is taking shape with two baseball fields, a small pavilion and three miles of hiking trails completed last year.

The real work in developing the 150-acre mountain park comes in the next eight months, when a 15-member study committee, working with a consultant, will draft a master plan for the next 20 years, said Gerald Zeigler, code enforcement officer for the township and coordinator of the park development project.


The committee will hold public meetings to learn what facilities citizens want for the park, which will serve Washington and Quincy townships and the Borough of Waynesboro. Residents from each jurisdiction are on the study committee, Zeigler said.

Washington Township bought 140 acres from Lebanon Valley College in 1992 for $130,000.

"The president of the college met with township officials on the mountain in the spring when the dogwood and mountain laurel were in bloom. He said it was too beautiful to sell to a developer," Zeigler said.

In the 1930s, William Martin, an alumnus of Lebanon Valley College, bought 140 acres of mountain land in four tracts. The township started to negotiate with Martin to buy the tract, but the two sides never came to terms. Martin later donated the land to the college.

The township has since bought another 10 contiguous acres.

Zeigler, 55, has worked for the township since 1984 after serving 22 years in the Navy. He is one of the park's biggest advocates.

"It's my baby, the best part of my job. This park is a real gem for this area and we have to develop it properly so it can respond to the needs of the area for the next 20 years. That's why we hired a consultant," Zeigler said.

Entrance to the park is off Mentzer Gap Road. Its land is contiguous with the 22-acre Red Run Park, also owned by the township.

A right-of-way is needed to connect the two parks by road, Zeigler said.

Future facilities could include an environmental center and scenic overlook building at the high point of the property.

"There's a great view of Waynesboro and the township," Zeigler said.

The committee is also studying the possibility of adding more picnic pavilions, an amphitheater and campgrounds. Roads through the park will be black-topped, but its steep grades will limit development.

The park will have more than five miles of walking and hiking trails including one for the handicapped, Zeigler said.

The committee is being lobbied by various groups, including hikers who want mostly wood-lands, and baseball, softball and soccer players who want more playing areas.

"This is a large park, but it can't accommodate all kinds of recreational uses. We don't want to cut down all of its native forest and replace it with buildings and grass," Zeigler said.

Zeigler said it will cost up to $300,000 to develop the first phase of the park, half of which will come from the state. The local share has to be raised, he said.

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