Chapel Gate Park dedication set for Thursday evening

By on August 24, 2016

A newly rehabilitated park will be dedicated Thursday in West Cocalico Township.

The ceremony for Chapel Gate Park is set for Aug. 24 at 7 p.m., officials said at the Aug. 16 township meeting.

State Rep. Mindy Fee, state Sen. Ryan Aument, and a Lancaster County commissioner will be in attendance, and the public is encouraged to attend, supervisors said.

“There’s already a lot of activity going on at the park and we are very pleased,” said Supervisor Chaiman James J. Stoner.

The $244,857 that went into the park rehabilitation includes a six-foot-wide paved or “boardwalk” half-mile loop through scenic wetlands with educational signs along the way. Visitors can utilize picnic areas and a new playground which includes a rock climbing wall.

Tom Showalter, roadmaster, worked hard on the project and said there were some difficulties along the way.

“The contractor was restricted with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) permit that they had to have the work done by March 15,” said Showalter. “They can only work in the wetlands from Nov. 15 to March 15 due to the bog turtle when they’re hibernating,”

In the spring, they were able to work in muddy conditions so they would not have to put off the project to November.

“Or we could have paid thousands of dollars for a professional bog turtle screener to be on site who is trained to be on the lookout for the turtles which are endangered species,” said Showalter. “The bog turtles are only four inches, so looking for them is a project in itself.”

No turtles were seen during the project, he said.

In other news, the supervisors:

* Appointed Matthew Meck to the planning commission through December 2019. He fills the remaining time of the term of Leon Eby who stepped down from the township planning commission due to his appointment to the board of supervisors. He served for 15 years.

* Approved the Schoeneck Fire Police assisting with the Ephrata Fair Parade on Sept. 20.

* Approved the Schoeneck Civic Association request to have a snack stand at Schoeneck Park when there are ball games.

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