Castanea Twp. park idea gaining ground with collaboration

The idea for a sports and recreation complex just off and south of the Lock Haven exit of the Route 220/Interstate 99 bypass in Castanea Township is brilliant.

Imagine, for example, youth baseball teams from all over the region and state gathering there for multiple-day tournaments, bringing their families, friends and money to Clinton County to spend and to experience the beauty of this mountainous hamlet.

The Castanea Township supervisors and volunteers of its recreation committee have a golden opportunity in their hands to build such a complex, now informally named Chestnut Grove.

And they’re approaching it in a selfless way.

The township and its volunteers agree that, while it could be a tremendous attraction countywide, regionally and even statewide, it also could be a financial and operational burden, so they’re engaging the county for help, thus furthering the formation of a countywide Recreation Authority.

One idea is to have the township lease the ground to the county authority, according to those involved.

Two simple baseball fields are now on the ground, but ideas have gone far beyond the initial concept of three baseball fields that meet Little League Baseball specifications, and a couple of pavilions.

Talk now includes a softball field, possibly a midget league-level football field, a walking path, additional pavilions and perhaps enhancing the kayak/canoe launch at the site along Bald Eagle Creek.

Given wetlands concerns, Chestnut Grove must go through more design work before it becomes a reality.

County Commissioner Paul Conklin, a former Castanea supervisor, says he’s excited by the opportunity and the collaboration among the township, the county and those volunteers involved in the various sports being discussed.

A countywide authority has been discussed here for years … years.

There even was a state-subisized, peer-to-peer study some time ago that proposed an authority separate from the current board that operates Belle Springs Golf Course.

The new authority could help municipalities enhance their parks, develop new ones by writing grants or helping to write grants.

Hopefully, grant funds can help to pay for the bulk of construction of Chestnut Grove.

Our point here is that partnerships on projects such as this can bring greater strength and reality to ideas … especially those meant to improve quality of life.

Those elected officials who believe they can do everything on their own fail to recognize the greater good.

There is strength in numbers.