West Pottsgrove offers range of recreational options

Note: This week we’ll be visiting the parks and playgrounds of West Pottsgrove, Lower Pottsgrove and Upper Pottsgrove. Links to all of the articles in the series can be found here. Thanks for stopping by!

Vine Street play area

While West Pottsgrove Township has a population of 3,815 and encompasses just 2.4 square miles to the west and northwest of Pottstown, they pack quite a punch in their parks and recreation offerings. They’ve got two neighborhood mini-parks, one baseball complex, one natural recreation area, and they are on the verge of acquiring the Colonial Swim Club, giving their residents a variety of options for physical activity.

My first stop was the Vine Street playground, which is near the intersection with Quinter Street. It’s got a wonderfully large open space, just begging for some dodgeball or wiffleball players. There’s a picnic table, benches, play equipment, swings and some shady spots.

Howard Street merry-go-round

The equipment at Howard Street playground was similar, with a notable addition: one of those merry-go-round spinning contraptions that makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Both of these parks are in quiet, residential neighborhoods.

Oldtimers Field, behind the municipal building on Grosstown Road, is primarily a baseball field used by the Pottsgrove Little League Association, but the complex also includes a playground, pavilion, full-court basketball and some grassy space behind the outfield fence. The ballfield itself is in excellent condition with bleachers, covered dugouts, and an announcer’s booth on the third base line. The fence is at 200 feet in right, center and left fields, and they’ve got a nice scoreboard.

In talking with Ed Whetstone, the West Pottsgrove Township Manager, I learned that any Township resident can rent the pavilion at the complex. Just call Joanne Herb, the Township Secretary, who handles all rentals.

“We also recently acquired 6-7 acres along the third base side of the field, running to the airport property,” said Mr. Whetstone. “We may create a walking area there, but it hasn’t been decided yet.”

West Pottsgrove is in the process of forming their own Recreation Commission to advise their Board of Commissioners on local recreation matters. For their recreation programming, West Pottsgrove relies on the Pottsgrove Recreation Board, which organizes activities for residents of all ages in West, Upper and Lower Pottsgrove Townships. The Pottsgrove Recreation Board is funded by the three townships and the Pottsgrove School District.

Oldtimers Field

But because West Pottsgrove’s recreational holdings are expanding, it looks like the time has come for them to form a local commission. The Township is in the process of finalizing a deal to acquire Colonial Swim Club, which has been in the community since 1965, and fell on hard times the past few years. They did not open this summer as the sale has been negotiated. That facility is about two acres and has a large pool, a wading pool, a pool house and a shady picnic grove. The Township hopes to offer the facility for use by day care providers and to offer lessons to the community.

Otherwise, the recreational programming in West Pottsgrove is arranged by Jody Sweinhart, the Director of the Recreation Board, who has been on staff for 23 years, the last three as Director.

Manatawny & Sell Rd.

“We run programming at all the Pottsgrove schools and in the summer at the playgrounds,” she said. “We offer activities not just for students but also for adults.” A glance at their website shows volleyball, table tennis, women’s exercise, ski club, swimming, summer playground and community band. (Please note that ice skating will not be offered this year.)

For those who want to get back to nature, the West Pottsgrove Township Recreation Area is the place for you. Right now, this 2.9 acre property is ideal for an outdoor get-together with family and friends to enjoy grilling, eating and tossing a Frisbee along the beautiful Manatawny Creek. According to Mr. Whetstone, the Township Manager, they recently acquired 30 acres that will run down Manatawny Street to Pottstown’s border. They’re in the master site plan design phase now, and it looks like this park will eventually include trails, a pavilion, volleyball court, and a boardwalk through wetlands for walking and nature study.

With their acquisition of the Colonial Swim Club and the acreage adjacent to Oldtimers Field and along the Manatawny, West Pottsgrove will soon have a few more impressive holdings in their recreational portfolio.

West Pottsgrove Recreation Area

To learn more about West Pottsgrove’s Open Space Plan, click on their link at the Montgomery County Planning Commission website page for Municipal Open Space Plans.

Location: Vine Street, near intersection with Quinter Street, Stowe, PA 19464
Size: 0.9 acres
Suitability: Active and passive recreation, mainly for 5-12 years old.
Facilities: Playground, swings, small and large multi-purpose open space, benches/sitting areas, picnic table
Activities + tips: Sunny field with some shady spots.
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

Location: On Howard Street in Stowe, PA 19464, between School Lane and W. Walnut Street.
Size: 0.3 acres
Suitability: Active and passive recreation, mainly for 5-12 years old.
Facilities: Playground, swings, benches/sitting areas, small multi-purpose space.
Activities + tips: Adults: beware the merry-go-round!
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

Location: 900 Grosstown Road, Stowe, PA 19464, behind the municipal building.
Size: 3.25 acres
Suitability: Active and passive recreation for all ages.
Facilities: Well-equipped ballfield, playground, multi-purpose open space, pavilion, full-court basketball that can also accommodate more picnic tables for special events.
Activities + tips: Younger children may enjoy catching a glimpse of planes taking off and landing at the airport on the other side of the trees beyond the outfield. Keep an eye on the recently-acquired acreage on the third base side of the field; it may become the site of some walking trails.
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

Location: Manatawny Street, near the intersection with Sell Road, Stowe, PA 19464
Size: 2.9 acres
Suitability: Active and passive recreation for all ages, access to Manatawny Creek.
Facilities: Natural areas, two picnic areas with total of 12 picnic tables and 4 grills, parking.
Activities + tips: Right now this area is great for quiet reflection or a family gathering. Keep an eye on future development of 30 acres that will extend the park to the border with Pottstown.
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

Contact regarding rentals:
West Pottsgrove Township Municipal Building
900 Grosstown Road
Stowe, PA 19464
610-323-7717 (Ask for Joanne Herb, Township Secretary)
Township website: http://www.westpottsgrove.org/
Photo gallery on their website, which shows parks.

Follow the parks series at Mission: Healthy Living, Positively!Pottstown, Twitter (PositivelyPtown), Facebook, and The Mercury.


Vine St. Swings
Giddyup! (at Vine St. playground)
Howard St. Playground
Howard St. playset
Howard St. Swings
Oldtimers Field
Oldtimers Field fence
Oldtimers Pavilion
Oldtimers Playground
Oldtimers Hoop
West Pottsgrove Twp. Rec. Area
West Pottsgrove Twp. Rec. Area

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