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Crews to add miles to trails

June 17, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Slowly but surely, Washington Township's recreation gem is starting to take shape.

Next week a half-dozen teenagers enrolled in a federal work program will begin hacking away at the three miles of hiking trails at the 150-acre Pine Hill Recreation Area on the mountain overlooking the community. Over the next six weeks they will clean the existing trails and blaze at least two more miles of new ones, said Gerald R. Zeigler, coordinator of the park development project.

Zeigler said the trails are covered with debris from winter. Brush growing into the trails will be cut back, he said.

The park is being used by Little League and Pony League baseball teams. A new soccer field should be ready for fall play and a mini-pavilion has been built.

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Angela R. Suydam, coordinator for the federally funded Job Training Partnership Act for Franklin and Adams counties, said about 170 youths from low-income families are enrolled in the program in both counties.

Crews of 14- to 21-year-olds will also do maintenance and clean-up work for the Borough of Waynesboro's municipal pool and golf course and help the Salvation Army in Chambersburg, Pa., Suydam said.

The teens work under the direction of a crew leader, often a schoolteacher. They are usually assigned to jobs for eight weeks during the summer. This year, because of federal budget cuts, the program will be cut to six weeks, Suydam said.

According to Zeigler, the park's long-term goal is to connect its trails to the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the township about a half-mile away. Some rights-of-way will have to be obtained in order for the trails to connect with Michaux State Forest, which the Appalachian Trail crosses.

He also said the committee drafting a master plan for Pine Hill will present its proposal to the Washington Township Supervisors later this summer. The plan will be the subject of a public hearing in the fall, he said.

The township bought the land for the park from Lebanon Valley College in 1992 for $130,000. The land was left to the college.

Zeigler said the township paid off the loan used to buy the park earlier this month. Also, he said, the park will start to receive the lion's share of the $8,000 the township gets every month in taxes paid on local television cable service.

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