2007  •  Hanover Township & Sugar Notch Borough, Luzerne County, PA

Home / Our Work / Recreation & Conservation / Hanover Recreation Area
Compost Information


Early in its work, in its Lower Wyoming Valley Open Space Master Plan (1999), Earth Conservancy recognized the need for centrally-located playing fields in the Hanover Area community. EC resolved to turn a mine-scarred wasteland into a site where people could gather, play sports, and enjoy the outdoors. The result was the Greater Hanover Area Recreation Park, a 65-acre recreational area in Hanover Township, adjacent to S.R. 29.

Because of the project’s scope, work was divided into two phases. Phase I consisted of a 15-acre tract on which two multi-purpose athletic fields, a basketball court, and parking area were constructed. Work was completed in 2002, and in 2004 EC donated the fields to the Greater Hanover Area Recreation Park Commission.  At the time, approximately 600 youth used the fields for soccer seasonally.  Phase I’s success generated demand for more park space. In response, EC initiated Phase II.  Phase II encompassed approximately 45 acres of damaged lands, and involved the construction of six additional multi-sport fields for softball, baseball, soccer, and football, as well as increased parking and amenities. The expanded park system now hosts another 1,500 children throughout the year.

The recreational area also includes the Sugar Notch Trails, which are adjacent to a proposed housing area on the Sugar Notch Residential reclamation site.  The design decision to combine the park, trails and residential area exemplifies Earth Conservancy’s commitment to providing the lower Wyoming Valley with environmental enhancements while serving the needs of the community.

February 2006 | Additional funding secured from PA DOT to develop paved road to park and Sugar Notch residential area.

November 2005 | Electrical services installed.

April – June 2005 | Construction work resumes on fields and is completed.

September 2004 | Phase II fields approximately 75% complete.

August 2004 | PA DCED awards $25,000 grant to EC to further extend electrical service to fields.

July 2004 | EC donates the Phase I lands to the GHARPC at a deed signing ceremony on July 16, 2004.

April 2004 | Construction of Phase II softball and multipurpose fields, parking lots, and roadway approximately 50% complete.

September 2003 | Final grading, soil preparation, and seeding of baseball field occurs. Through the Peer Study, a intergovernmental agreement was developed establishing the Greater Hanover Area Recreation Park Commission (GHARPC). Hanover Township, Sugar Notch, Warrior Run, and the Hanover Area School District approve the agreement.

June – September 2003 | Work on completion of baseball field area, including importing and spreading of topsoil, seeding, grading of roadway and parking areas, and installation of stormwater piping.

May 2003 | Design specifications and permitting completed for the Phase II site. Construction begins, supported by personnel and assets from EC and the Regional Equipment Center.

November 2002 | EC is awarded $534,000 Growing Greener grant from PA DEP to continue reclamation of Phase II property.

September 2001 | PA DCNR awards Peer Funding grant to evaluate and coordinate responsibilities of park operations and maintenance among local municipalities and organizations. Award is made to Hanover Township on behalf of the other entities.

May – June 2001 | Grading for Phase II baseball field, roadway, and parking area continues and is substantially completed.

April 2001 | Coal removal completed on Phase II site and grading resumes.

February 2001 | PA DCED awards $25,000 grant for extension of electric service to Phase I site and for construction of a basketball court.

December 2000 | EC engages Kaminiski Brothers to remove coal from Phase II site.

October 2000 | Phase I fencing completed. Phase II permits secured. Grading begins for baseball field and parking area.

September 2000 | Construction of Phase I parking area completed.

August 2000 | Work starts on permitting for the Phase II project.

June – August 2000 | Spreading of topsoil, final grading, and seeding is completed. Well is drilled. Solicited bids for fencing around fields.

April – May 2000 | Stormwater features completed. Topsoil hauled to site and spread. Slopes and field areas prepared for seeding. Bids solicited for well-drilling services.

March 2000 | Final grading and stormwater pipe installation activities in process.

October – December 1999 | Coal encountered during earthmoving activities. EC engages Emerald Anthracite to remove coal.

August 1999 | All permits and approvals received. Clearing and grubbing of site begins.

July 1999 | Borton Lawson completes detailed engineering design plans for Phase I of the park complex. Permit applications are filed and a zoning change for part of the property (S-1 to S-1R) is requested from Hanover Township.

May 1999 | EC is awarded $200,000 grant from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Rural Abandoned Mine Program.

March 1999 | URDC completes phased layout design of recreational area, which includes baseball, softball, and soccer/football fields. Additionally, $100,000 had been received from Luzerne County.

January 1999 | Stakeholder meeting held to review and comment on initial concepts developed by URDC.

December 1998 | Engaged Urban Research & Development Corporation (URDC) for concept development.

Compost Information


$200,000 – US Department of Agriculture
$561,000 – PA Department of Environmental Protection
$138,000 – PA Department of Transportation
$48,000 – PA Department of Community & Economic Development
$357,000 – Luzerne County
$6,000 – Private Sector
$3,000 – User Contributions
$64,000 – In-kind Services
$546,000 – Earth Conservancy

Compost Information



Aerial of Phase I site targeted for future recreation area.

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Early phase of grading.

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Spreading of topsoil on reclaimed site.

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Seeding of fields.

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Successful germination of grass seed on fields.

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Aerial view of both phases of recreation area upon completion. The reclaimed Sugar Notch residential area is also visible (top).

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