Having been officially awarded $250,000 in grant funding from DCNR late last year, Washington Township is finalizing plans to install Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground equipment and features at Red Run Park in Spring 2023. Washington Township will match the $250,000 grant with funds allocated from the American Rescue Plan (COVID relief funds) that were awarded to the Township.
This Project will install a variety of ADA accessible improvements including, but not limited to, paved walking trails, ADA compliant playground equipment, and ADA compliant crosswalks. In addition to these improvements, the sand under the existing playgrounds will be removed and replaced with engineered rubber mulch. Finally, two (2) rain gardens will be constructed for stormwater management and shade trees/native shrubs will be planted.
“Upgrading the play equipment at Red Run has been a top priority for the Supervisors,” said Assistant Township Manager Vernon Ashway. “In fact, some of the infrastructure hasn’t been touched since I was a kid. We are grateful for the investment in our parks from DCNR and our elected officials in Harrisburg.”
As four decades have passed since Red Run Park’s amenities were thoroughly upgraded, and two decades since Title III of ADA became effective, the timeliness alone speaks volumes to the urgency of the needed ADA improvements at Red Run Park. However, the quality of life for all residents is also of concern. It has been universally accepted that parks play an important role in child development and the quality of life for all individuals. Therefore, fulfilling initiatives to increase the quality of life for all individuals and provide adequate equipment for all children to develop critical social skills is of paramount importance.
“Red Run is one of the most heavily utilized parks in the Township, and providing new recreational opportunities that serve the needs of all residents only makes sense,” said Supervisor Chairman Stewart McCleaf. “This is an enormous investment in our recreational facilities and serve our families well for decades to come.”
Red Run Park, the oldest park owned by Washington Township, is a 22-acre park that was presented to the Borough of Waynesboro in 1938 and was conveyed to the Washington Township Supervisors in 1969. The park consists of a man-made lake, picnic area, playground equipment, public restrooms, concession stand, and miniature train. The lake closed for swimming in the 1970s, but has continued to be used for fishing, and is a very popular spot year-round. Continued development of Red Run Park resulted in three major community events occurring at the park annually, construction of additional picnic pavilions, special needs fishing pier and ramp to the pier, installation of a miniature train, tunnel, and station.