Released: September 1, 2022
Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Schaefer joined Director of Parks and Recreation Marc Manfre, Upland Mayor William Dennon, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, members from the Upland Hurricane Football Team, and various elected officials to break ground on the future site of a playground and field on August 31 in Upland Park.
“Delaware County Council is committed to the preservation of our parks and expanding open space for residents to enjoy,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Schaefer. “Open space protects a community's natural green infrastructure, providing places for recreation, preserving important environmental and ecological functions, and enhancing the quality of life for residents. Green spaces such as parks, sports fields, and wooded areas give residents the space for physical activity and relaxation. Green space greatly adds to our quality of life and promotes economic prosperity."
The new playground will include features for children of all ages and abilities, with separate areas for younger and older children, and will include sensory activities for those with special needs. Playgrounds are shown to be important for the development of children in many ways, and offer emotional, social, mental, and physical benefits to children of all ages. They also help children work on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and coordination.
The project also includes a new natural-grass playing field with a full-size football field. The field can also accommodate other sports such as soccer and lacrosse. State-of-the-art sports lighting will be installed to allow for nighttime use. A paved walking path will circle the perimeter of the field and playground area for residents to enjoy.
“We are extremely excited to invest in this playground as well as other open space across the county,” said Schaefer. “It's a very smart investment that will benefit our residents and attract visitors.”
This year, the County’s capital budget includes outdoor recreation facilities improvements at three County-owned parks: Little Flower, Rose Tree Park, and Upland Park with grant support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Office of Housing and Community Development.
“Open space, playgrounds, and athletic fields add to the quality of life for residents and are an investment in our youth,” said Delaware County Parks and Recreation Director Marc Manfre. “Thank you to County Council, members of the County team, and various partners for working to bring this exciting project to fruition. We are excited to open the park next fall!”
Covering nearly 60 scenic acres, Upland Park is the fourth largest County Park and there is immense potential for redevelopment and re-purposing within the County’s Park system. In total, the County is investing $1.6 million to upgrade Upland County Park.
Phase 1 of the project will include new playground structures, benches, rubberized safety surfacing, landscaping, sidewalk and pathways, and signage.
Phase 2 of the project will include the installation of a new multipurpose sports field, lighting, and walking path. The walking path will be constructed to manage stormwater on site and is the first of its kind in the county.
Phase 3 of the project will include investments at the Redwood Senior Center in 2023 to replace the roof and complete structural renovations.
The improvements planned align with the recommendations listed in the 2015 Master Plan created by the Delaware County Planning Commission. The concept of the Upland County Park Site Development Plan is to build the park into not only a cornerstone of the Delaware County Park system but to create a self-sustaining regional recreation hub and destination within Delaware County and Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The renovations are expected to be completed by the fall of 2023.