Renovations to Snyder Park nearly complete

By on July 12, 2017
Shown are (left to right) Kiera Walters, Abby Kohler, Kaylee Walters and Chris Kohler playing at the park. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Shown are (left to right) Kiera Walters, Abby Kohler, Kaylee Walters and Chris Kohler playing at the park. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Clay Township supervisors also reviewing ordinances

After a few years in the works, the Snyder Park Pavilion Project in Clay Township will soon be finished and open to the public, township supervisors said at their monthly meeting.

Snyder Park, located along Snyder Road, is one of Clay Township’s three parks, along with the four acre Hopeland Park, located near Hopeland Road, and Charity Gardens, along Agape Drive, a 5.5-acre park with ball fields and playground equipment.

Snyder Park had consisted of six acres until 2005, when the township purchased an additional 10 acres and initiated plans to make improvements.

The township has been working to make the park more inviting by building another roofed pavilion and bathrooms and adding more playground equipment, with a budget of $300,000.

Half of that amount was in the form of a state grant from the Department of Economic Development and the remaining half was paid for by residential developers who are mandated to put money into the township’s recreational fund for every unit they build.

The park already has a walking trail, ball field, open areas, parking lot and some playground equipment.

Now, it’s hoped the new structures will increase attendance, as well as add to the ambiance of the park.

“The pavilion should be done by the end of May,” said Bruce Leisey, township manager. “This project has been three or four years in the making.”

While actual numbers aren’t available, Leisey said plenty of people visit all three parks.

With warm weather on the way, and a resultant increase in foot traffic, “tweaking” park rules was also discussed at the April supervisors’ meeting.

One of the bigger changes is that all three parks will be more welcoming — officially — to companion animals.

A township ordinance enacted more than 30 years ago prohibits dogs from being in the parks, even if leashed.

Over the years, that ordinance has largely been ignored, and the rule isn’t even one with which the township supervisors are comfortable.

People have been bringing their dogs to walk with them in the parks for a number of years, Leisey said.

The long-time township manager said he didn’t know of anyone who has been fined for having their dog in the park, a provision of the old ordinance.

As long as the dogs are leashed and the owners clean up after them, it hasn’t been a problem, Leisey said.

“In the past several years, that’s changed (no dogs allowed), but we don’t have an ordinance stating that,” Leisey said. “The policy was changed, but the ordinance was never changed.”

Changing the ordinance to allow leashed dogs —and cats — had been the intent, but just didn’t get done, he said.

The supervisors don’t believe many cat owners will be walking their pets on a leash, but the ordinance will pertain to cats, too.

Snyder Park’s walking trail, close to a mile in length, is very popular with people and their pets, Leisey said.

“That walking trail is used throughout the day, and when people walk, they bring their pets,” Leisey said. “We want to encourage people to stay fit and walking their dogs is a natural progression of that.”

The parks are maintained by township staff and patrolled by the Northern Lancaster Regional Police Force.

Who’s been in the park late at night is another concern.

Each park has posted signs advising that the areas are open from dawn until dusk.

But a number of vehicles have been found parked in the parks overnight.

“We have park hours (advertised), but we don’t have restrictions on times vehicles can be parked there,” Leisey said.

While no criminal activity is suspected, why the cars had been parked in the recreation areas overnight is a mystery, and something the supervisors want to discourage.

“We want to make it user-friendly and we want people to come to the parks, but we also need to have some control,” said Supervisor Gary Landis.

Exactly how early joggers and walkers arrive at the park was also questioned, with the supervisors asking if folks are there before daylight.

The supervisors decided to initiate a regulation that prohibits cars from being in the parks past sundown.

Both the pet and nighttime parking ordinances will be advertised this month and should be enacted before summer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *