Soldiers Field
February 2020
Gretna Grady didn’t see his shadow on Sunday so we can count on an early spring! Many thanks to Val and Fred Swarr for creating a great Gretna tradition and fundraiser for the Fire Company!
The Soldiers Field tract (18.14 ac) was purchased by the Pa Chautauqua Association in 2018.  An Advisory Committee, formed in late January 2019, includes volunteer representatives from seven Mount Gretna area neighborhoods. Representatives are Jennifer Besse, Tom Clemens, Kristi Donahue, Ned Gibble, Sid Hostetter, Marla Pitt and Jackie Zimmerman. The Committee meets monthly and provides input, advice, knowledge and resources to the Pa Chautauqua Board of Managers.  Board members who serve on the Committee are Jeanette Leid and Mike Sherman.
Since the first update this past July, volunteer work, committee meetings, project planning, permitting and grant work have continued. On August 4th, thirty-three attendees at the Soldiers Field Open House provided feedback and discussions with Committee members and table hosts on the following subjects:  stewardship/land management, walking paths and pedestrian bridge, parking, traffic and Brigade activities
South Londonderry Township has approved a stormwater project that will address and correct stormwater runoff and resulting accelerated erosion conditions along Timber Road and in the adjacent woods.  The work will consist of a vegetated swale along Timber Road that will combine with an existing culvert outlet near the intersection with Valley Road and convey stormwater to a water quality best management practice.  Work on this project is projected to start in early April.  A grant application to fund a portion of this work was filed with the Lebanon County Planning Department last month. Funding decisions will be made by March 31.
Work continues to close our two grants and receive remaining grant funds from The Conservation Fund and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).   Grant closings will hopefully be completed by the end of first quarter 2020.   A grant application to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to restore walking paths, build a pedestrian bridge and overflow parking area was not chosen for funding in the 2019 grant cycle. The Pennsylvania Chautauqua Foundation expects to apply to DCNR and DCED this April for funding this same project.
Volunteer activities, public walks and programs are being discussed and planned for this spring and summer.  Efforts to remove invasive species, plant trees and shrubs and other beneficial projects will commence as the weather improves toward the end of winter.  Members of the Soldiers Field Volunteer Brigade will be notified of future activities.  To be added to the Brigade mailing list please contact

Additional information is available by calling 717-964-3270. 

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