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Quirky open space poses challenges to visitors

October 7, 2010

Note: We’re going to post a few articles each day for the next couple days in order to get through the Lower and Upper Pottsgrove parks by this weekend!

Lower Pottsgrove Township threw Positively!Pottstown a bit of a curve ball. So far, they’ve got the most information about their parks and recreation opportunities on their website. They give the name of the park, acres, location and facilities. The key information there is the location, especially since the Penn State study had found that many people didn’t know about parks right in their own neighborhoods.

The Lower Pottsgrove website also listed more parks and open space sites than the Penn State study, which presented us with a small dilemma. Should we include those additional parks? Because we love this project so much, our reaction? “Let’s do it!”

Here I’d like to bring to your attention three small, quirky pieces of land owned by the Township and available to the public. I don’t know the history of these parcels, but my guess is that they were deeded to the Township during the development of the surrounding land for any number of reasons. They might have been too small to be building lots, had some environmental value, or had some feature that made them un-buildable. Typically, these spaces benefit the neighbors in the vicinity because they get to enjoy a nice view or interact with nature nearby, but without a lot of crowds.

The first of these is called Liberty Hill Open Space on the Township’s website. It’s 0.3 acres at 2525 Allison Drive, off E. High Street, before Cutillo’s Restaurant (if you were coming from Pottstown.) I couldn’t find any of the Township Open Space signs, as I’ve seen at all their other properties. The area is immediately adjacent to a busy street and just looks pretty wild (if I’ve got the right location.)

Crimson Lane open space

The second small open space area is Crimson Lane, at the intersection with Sunnybrook Road. It’s 0.7 acres of grassy space that looks like a great spot for kickball, dodgeball or wiffleball, or just to spread out a blanket, catch some rays, read a book or listen to music.

Crimson Lane & Sunnybrook Rd.

Sign next to Keim St. open space

The third unusual space is on Keim Street, near the intersection with Mulberry Street, across from the former St. Pius X lower parking lot. This 0.2 acre triangle has a charming split-rail fence and gazebo, but no seating and no safe place to park. If you’re looking for a place to read a book in the shade or have a small picnic or gathering, this might be the spot for you. Although it is fenced, this space is not suitable for younger, impetuous children due to the proximity to Keim Street and speeding cars.

Keim St. gazebo

Of these three spaces, I think the one with the most potential for the most number of users is Crimson Lane, which is in a quiet residential neighborhood. If you know the history of any of these spaces or if you have used them, feel free to let us know how they worked out for you!

LIBERTY HILL OPEN SPACE
Location: 2525 Allison Drive, at intersection with E. High Street, Sanatoga, PA 19464
Size: 0.3 acres
Suitability: Hard to say.
Facilities: Green space.
Activities and tips: You tell us!
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

CRIMSON LANE OPEN SPACE
Location: 910 Crimson Lane at Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown, PA 19464
Size: 0.7 acres
Suitability: All ages, younger children with supervision. There is no fence.
Facilities: Grassy, multi-purpose open space with some shade, picnic table, bench
Activities and tips: Looks like a good spot for impromptu ball games or Frisbee.
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

KEIM STREET OPEN SPACE
Location: Keim Street, near Mulberry Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 (right on border with Pottstown.)
Size: 0.2 acres
Suitability: Older children & adults.
Facilities: Gazebo, multi-purpose open space, split rail fence
Activities and tips: Bring your own chair or blanket. Cars whiz by awful close. Awkward parking for one car.
Hours: Dawn until dusk.

Lower Pottsgrove Township has lots of information and photos on their website, which is http://www.lowerpottsgrove.org. Just click on the Parks & Recreation tab on the left side of the home page.

Contact:
Lower Pottsgrove Township
2199 Buchert Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
Ph: (610) 323-0436
Fax: (610) 323-3824
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. M-F

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

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