NEW KINGSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — In a section of Cumberland County undergoing rapid residential development, some precious green space is finally living up to its full potential.
Twenty-five years ago, the Potteiger family donated seven acres of land in New Kingstown to Silver Spring Township. The property which became Potteiger Park has long since served as home to several local baseball organizations, but its usefulness seemed to be restricted to ball games. Void of practices or games, the park along John King Lane was usually empty.
“It was a field with not a lot for people to do. Coming through here constantly through the years, our department never really saw a lot of people in this park,” said Kristy Owens, head of the township’s parks and recreation department. “We almost saw no one every time we came out here.”
As the surrounding Cumberland Valley region has grown, the ability to preserve adequate green space for new residents has been difficult to keep up with. Owens and many others within the township saw Potteiger Park as a gem that was being underutilized. On Thursday, a ribbon cutting was held to rededicate the new look park filled with additional amenities.
“This started over three years ago,” Owens said. “We applied for DCNR grants for added amenities for this park. The business and civic community came to bat with donations. TreeVitalize provided nearly every tree that lines the outer border of the park.”
New additions to the park include a paved .37-mile walking path, a multi-use pavilion and a large children’s playground. One of the original baseball fields remains.
“We wanted to keep the baseball going because there is quite a bit of history with the baseball fields,” Owens said, “but now, this is a place that can be the center of much more activity for this New Kingstown community. We’re really surprised by how many people are already here and using it.”
Owens said renovations to Potteiger Park cost $150,000. Grants and donations paid $76,500. Businesses and organizations that contributed to amenities such as the pavilion, playground, benches and trees included Exeter Property Group, Valk Manufacturing Company, Industrial Property Trust, Bobby Rahal Toyota, New Kingstown Vision, New Kingstown Fire Company, The Mechanicsburg Club, Appalachian Harley-Davidson and Hempt Bros, Inc.
The remaining funding was achieved through Silver Spring’s recreation tax, a one-time $1,300 fee attached to the construction of every new residential housing unit.
“This is really one of the crucial things for communities that are rapidly growing: trying to preserve the green space that we have,” Owens said.
Potteiger Park, located at 15 John King Lane, is now open to the public.