Soldiers Field Meadow
September 2020 - Lebanon County Commissioners and the Marcellus Shale Grant Program have chosen the PA Chautauqua as a recipient of funds to help with improvements to Soldiers Field. Thank you to the Commissioners and to Mike Sherman for his work on this.
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 Sarah Minnich.
Volunteer work, committee meetings, project planning, permitting and grant work have continued.
Last August 4th (2019), 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. A grant application to fund a portion of this work was filed with the Lebanon County Planning Department.
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 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 for funding this same project.
Volunteer activities, public walks and programs are being discussed and planned. 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 MDSherman01@comcast.net.