Throwback: Parks and Recreation

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

The Cover of the first issue of Upper St. Clair TODAY, September 1994

Throwback with TODAY

Developing a Parks and Recreation System

September 1994 (First Edition) page 51, 52

The Township of Upper St. Clair has over 480 acres of community and neighborhood parks and facilities. This development took place over the past 25 years due to diligent efforts by the Township.

In 1970, Clair Park, Wiltshire Park and the municipal tennis courts were the only park facilities in the Township and neither park was finished. Between 1960 and 1970, the population of the township had almost doubled from 8,287 to 15,410. There was a great need for parks and recreation activities to accommodate the growing population, which consisted primarily of young married couples with school aged children.

In the early 1970's, the the Township hired F. Kyle Robinson as the first director of Parks and Recreation to develop parks through a parks master plan, coordinate efforts of citizens' commissions and develop recreation programs for all age groups. At the same time, state-wide efforts as well as national efforts to encourage the development of local, regional and national park lands was underway. The Township was able to take advantage of state and federal funds to finance both park acquisition and development. The Township paid for and acquired the land for Brynwich Park, Hays Park, Trotwood Park and Tustin Park.

To facilitate the development and coordination of a parks system, three policy making commissions dealing with parks and recreation were combined into one board, the Parks and Recreation Board. This board first served as a policy making board and now serves as an advisory board to the Township Board of Commissioners.

Recreation programs were first developed by utilizing existing facilities such as schools. Then programs were expanded to year-round for Township residents of all ages. Specific programs for senior citizens and youth activities were initiated. In the mid-1970's, the Township first purchased air-support structures (tennis bubbles) to provide year-round tennis play.

During the 1980's, the number of recreation programs grew and the maintenance of the park system continued to be a priority for the Township. With coordination and assistance between the Township of Upper St. Clair, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the Upper St. Clair Athletic Association, plans to upgrade athletic fields and park facilities throughout the Township were developed. A master plan for the large tract of land known as Boyce Park is now being completed.

Any ideas or suggestions relating to parks and field facilities or program activities can be submitted to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services or addressed at the Parks and Recreation Board meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 8:00 p.m. in the Library Multi-Purpose Room.

Recent field and park facility developments include:

Boyce Girls' Softball Field

  1. developed infield and out field pay area including back stop.

  2. installed infield fencing and dugout storage facility.

  3. created batting cage are designed for girls' slow pitch softball

Morton Soccer Fields/Baseball Fields

  1. developed third regulation soccer area with fencing and goals.

  2. developed baseball/softball infield and outfield playing are with backstop and infield fencing.

  3. developed baseball/softball training league infield and outfield playing area with backstop and infield fencing.

  4. built large shelter with water.

  5. installed automatic irrigation system to all field playing areas for more cost effective maintenance

  6. scheduled - concession/storage area.

Boyce and Fort Couch Baseball Fields

  • water fountain installed and infield water system developed.

Municipal Tot Play Area

  • scheduled - upgrade tot play area with handicapped accessibility new equipment and safety surfaces per ADA (Americans with Disability Act) 50/50 matching grant.

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Services, under the direction of Melanie K. Finlay, Provides numerous programs for residents of all ages ranging from parent and tot music and art classes to senior citizens programming. The following chart indicates the variety of programs and the number of participants.

Fall/Winter Recreation Brochure

September 1994 (First Edition) page 52

The Fall/Winter Recreation Brochure is included as an insert to UPPER ST. CLAIR TODAY magazine. The brochure includes information on the Recreation and Leisure Services programs sponsored by the Township. New programs include computer workshops. Call the Recreation and Leisure Services Department at 831-9000 if you have any questions on the programs.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Registrations for Recreation Programs by mail or in person at the Recreation and Leisure Services Department, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241. The Recreation Department is located in the rear, lower level of the Township Municipal Building, near the Library entrance. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Tennis Bubble Registration - Saturday, September 10, 1994 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Recreation and Leisure Services Department.

Senior Citizens Programs

The United Senior Citizens of Upper St. Clair meet every Wednesday for 12:30 lunch and entertainment. September is "Tournament Month" - complete with golf, bridge, card, horseshoe and pool tournaments. Residents 62 years of age and older can attend by calling Angela Warhola, Senior Citizens Coordinator at 831-9000 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Facilities Available

The Community Center is available for use throughout the year. Facilities include meeting room, kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The Recreation Center is also available for use throughout the year. Facilities include kitchen and bathroom facilities. Please contact the Recreation and Leisure Services Department at 831-9000 for usage requests and availability for both of these facilities.

Ski Swap Shop

The 23rd Annual Upper St. Clair Ski Swap Shop will be held on Saturday November 5, 1994, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All items will go on sale on a first-come, first served basis. Most equipment sold at the Ski Swap Shop is used and should be purchased with that in mind. All items are sold "as is" and all buyers are required to sign waivers before sales are finalized.

To sell ski equipment, ski clothing and accessories, take items to the Recreation Center on Friday, November 4, 1994, between 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. At that time, owners will set prices for their items; 85% of the price obtained will be returned to the owner. Participants who sold ski equipment will receive a check for their items in early December. Items sold must total more than $5.00 for a check to be issued.

Willi's Ski Shop will also be participating in the Ski Swap Shop this year.

Unsold items should be picked up on Sunday, November 6, 1994, between 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Any items which are unclaimed will be donated to charity.

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