Parks and Recreation
"Our mission is to improve the quality of life within the community by providing
activities, facilities, and opportunities for enhanced physical, mental, and social health."
The offices of the Lower Paxton Township Parks and Recreation Department are located in the Friendship Center, 5000 Commons Dr., Harrisburg, Pa. 17112. The Department may be contacted by telephone. Mr. Brian Luetchford serves as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Lower Paxton Township, through its Parks and Recreation Department, provides nearly 300 acres of park land for public use, while annually offering in excess of 300 recreation programs, trips, and special events. Each year, over 12,000 individuals participate in activities sponsored by the Department. Through the offering of these programs and services, the Department seeks to promote personal well-being in the form of physical, social, and mental health.
Lower Paxton Township possessess 17 public park facilities and approximately 283 acres of park land. Park facilities range from lightly developed forest and mountain land to established athletic fields, playgrounds, and ball courts. Large, Township-owned regional parks (over 10 acres) include: Koons, George, Brightbill, Kohl, and Lingle Parks. Neighborhood park properties (smaller than 10 acres) include: Centennial Acres, Forest HIlls, Hocker, Hodges Heights, Kings Crossing, Ranger, Hurley, Lamplight, and Meadowbrook Parks. The inventory of outdoor recreational facilities includes baseball, softball, soccer and football fields; basketball, tennis, volleyball, bocce and racquetball courts; picnic pavilions; nature trails; playground equipment and ancillary facilities, such as parking lots, restrooms, and storage areas.
The Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the use of park land by the general public. It is estimated that over one-half million visits are made to the Township's system of parks every year.
The 2007 operating budget for the Parks and Recreation Department includes General Fund expenditures of $787,080 and revenues of $759,720. Capital improvements for park facilities are funded, in part in the General Improvement Fund. The fiscal year 2007 operating budget for the Friendship Center is balanced, with revenues and expenditures both totaling $2,086,960.
The network of public parks serving Lower Paxton Township is maintained by the Public Works Department and funding for these activities is included within its budget. This network has proven to be effective in meeting the recreational needs of our community. The Board of Supervisors has implemented plans over the past five years to expand park facilities, with over $2 million in new additions to the Township's system of public parks. On a long term basis the Board, as recommended by the 2004 Comprehensive Plan, is completing the development of a fifth regional park named after Thomas B. George, Jr.
In January 23, 2000 Lower Paxton Township officially opened the doors to the Friendship Center. This facility addresses educational, health, recreational, and social needs; provides resources not otherwise available in the community or affordable to all income levels; is visionary, anticipating the Township's needs and programs for many years to come; accommodates families and citizens of all ages; looks good, is inviting and safe; and is affordable to operate. The Friendship Center provides for both community services and recreational activities. It generates revenues from reasonable user fees. And, it allows for a fair allotment of time and space among various groups of people.
Our community requires efficient public facilities and effective public services for both overall quality of life and for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare. The Lower Paxton Township Parks and Recreation Department works hard to provide sufficient leisure opportunities and services to meet the needs of our citizens.