Earth Conservancy is developing a Master Site Development Plan for a regional recreation area on 30 acres in Hanover Township.
In January 2020, Earth Conservancy convened a group of local municipal, educational, and business leaders to gauge their thoughts on a new potential recreational area for the community. EC had 30 acres of land right off of the new South Valley Parkway that could make for a wonderful community asset. However, was there a need? After several hours of brainstorming, many ideas and much enthusiasm were voiced. With that as a starting point, EC moved forward with seeking grant funding to develop a plan. In late 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PADCNR) announced EC had received $22,000 to help fund the project. The study will not only include park concepts, but also ascertain management options and financial viability.
This page will be updated as the project proceeds. Make sure to check back or follow us on Facebook for the latest news.
PUBLIC COMMENT & MEETINGS
Keep an eye on this space for news about upcoming public meetings and surveys about the project. We encourage the public to reach out to us! If you have comments or questions, please contact EC by emailing [email protected].
Public Meeting: Tuesday, October 18, 2022 | 4:00pm | Earth Conservancy Board Room / 101 South Main Street, Ashley, PA
• View Presentation
Public Survey (responses collected November 19 – December 21, 2021)
• View Results
August 19, 2022 | The third meeting of the Steering Committee was held, with representatives from PADCNR, the Hanover Area Mini-Hawks, and the Greater Wyoming Valley YMCA in attendance. Two primary topics were discussed. First was the formation of the South Valley Regional Recreational Authority. The authority, which involves many of the same stakeholders from EC’s H7A project, is examining recreational opportunities in the region. In relation to the H7A site, the authority is using data from the public survey and site analysis to inform grant request for future development. Grant documents for the initial American Rescue Plan Act application are available at www.hanovertownship.org/SouthValleyRegionalRecreation/. Second, and related to the first, was the review of early conceptual plans. Four sketches were presented, each of varying levels of development. Based on geotechnical information, a significant amount of sitework will be required, more so if indoor facilities are involved. Following the meeting, K&W was to incorporate input from the steering committee for project/design revisions. The final concepts would then be presented at a public meeting this fall for comment.
March 1, 2022 | Second meeting of the Steering Committee held, with representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police, Luzerne County Visitors’ Bureau, Hanover Township, Hanover Area School District, Hanover Area Mini-Hawks, and the Greater Wyoming Valley YMCA in attendance. Marc Kurowski, PE, discussed selected results of the public survey, which garnered 174 responses. The majority of respondents were from the 18706 and 18643 zip codes, aged 25 to 55, and have lived in the area for more than 10 years. Top amenities desired in a recreation area were walking paths and trails, playing fields for sports, playground, and indoor recreation facilities (track, fields, fitness/activity room). Attending stakeholders were asked to identify top priorities and concerns. Childcare services were also discussed as a community asset/potential source of revenue. Emphasis was given to making the resources/facility of a high quality, especially if travel sport fields were pursued. Next steps were for K&W to take input and, taking site considerations into account, develop preliminary schematics for the site, which then would be submitted to the committee for review.
November 19, 2021 | EC opens the public comment period for the H7A project with an online survey. Survey closes December 21, 2021.
October 2021 | First meeting of the Steering Committee held, with representatives from Hanover Township, the Lower South Valley COG, Hanover Area School District, Greater Nanticoke Area School District, King’s College, the Luzerne County Visitors’ Bureau, and the Greater Wyoming Valley YMCA in attendance. Marc Kurowski, PE, of K&W Engineers, led the meeting, beginning with an overview of the site. The primary tasks of the committee, he explained, were to 1.) provide input on area recreation needs; and 2.) assist the study team in identifying stakeholders and gathering additional community information (e.g., public survey). Issues brought forward by the committee were a lack of facilities for youth sports, as well as inadequate lighting, parking, and turf resources at existing fields; missed opportunities in accommodating travel leagues (e.g., baseball); the need for access/walkability; and growing interest in activities like skateboarding, disc golf, and pickleball. The potential for creating a space for other events (e.g., theater productions, arts festivals) was also mentioned. Cost and revenue was discussed several times, in terms of both building the facility; and supporting its operations and maintenance. Next steps included a site and area facility analysis, a public survey, and stakeholder interviews. These would start to inform conceptual plans. The overall timeline for the project was estimated at six months.
July 2021 | K&W Engineers engaged as consultant for project. Study team includes Design BLD (formerly Site Services Group), Midlantic Engineering, Janelle Drach, Ecological Solutions, GMS Funding Solutions, Pinnacle Indoor Sports, and the Brownwater Group.
April 15, 2021 | Request for Proposals issued, due May 7, 2021.
September 25, 2020 | Earth Conservancy awarded $22,000 grant from PA DCNR to fund a Master Site Development Plan (MSDP) for the Hanover 7A site, with the project period to begin on January 1, 2021.
Christine Dettore | PA DCNR
Nathan Barrett | Hanover Area School District
Matt Curry | Hanover Area Mini-Hawks Youth Football
Cpt. Pat Dougherty | PA State Police, Troop P
Ron Grevera | Nanticoke Area School District
Sam Guesto | Hanover Township
Sara Hailstone | Hailstone Economic for Lower South Valley COG
Cheryl Ish | Kings College
Michelle Schasberger | LiveWell Luzerne / Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA
Alan Stout | Luzerne County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mike Wood | Wilkes University
$22,000 – PA DCNR, C2P2
$22,000 – EC
Map of Study Area with Nearby Parks (Earth Conservancy, 2019)
PA Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, 2020-2024 (PA DCNR, 2020)