Officials Celebrate Ribbon Cutting at Deer Lakes Park




County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Council Vice President Nick Futules and Council Member Ed Kress were joined by county and municipal officials in a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new portal to Deer Lakes Park. The largest play area in the county parks system, the new playground is approximately 1.5 acres and includes an existing spray park.


“We are delighted to celebrate this milestone today. Our focus in the past few years has been on those quality of life services that impact our daily lives, and investing in our parks and our park facilities, is no exception,” said Fitzgerald. “Our smaller parks are really coming into their own. Each has its own identity and Deer Lakes Park is no exception.”


In early September, work began on the $850,000 project by John Zottola Landscape of Pittsburgh. The former playground at the site was demolished, along with 12,000 sq.ft. of asphalt parking lot and driveway to make room for the new facility. The new playground features play areas for toddlers to teenagers, including unique rope and rock climbing opportunities. The playground equipment was supplied by Playworld Systems, Inc. of Lewisburg, PA and was installed by Jeffrey Associates, Inc. of Indianola, PA. The site features lots of shade trees and seating.


“I’m very excited to see so many new features in Deer Lakes. This park has long been a hub of activity in this part of the county and with these new additions, it will continue to be,” said Futules. “We are looking forward to Phase 2 beginning and having even more amenities for the residents of this community that will benefit them for years to come.”


In addition to the new playground, a new shelter was added to the site. New native landscape plantings and green space that surrounds the spray park were developed as well. The site was designed by Joel Perkovich, the county’s Landscape Architect. A second phase of the project will begin in late 2017 or early 2018 to include additional picnic areas, green infrastructure to capture storm water runoff from the park parking lot, and flush restrooms.


“I am proud that the people of my district will now be enjoying the largest play area in the county parks system and we did all of this with private dollars,” said Kress. “My constituents have already enjoyed great fishing at Deer Lakes Park along with the addition improvements of addition exercise equipment, electricity to Trout and Minnow Shelters, and restrooms. This will be a great year.”


In the past 18 months, Deer Lakes Parks has been the site of numerous improvements including the installation of a new shade structure, restroom and exercise equipment at the universal playground near the Minnow Shelter; the management of vegetation growth at the lakes to create a healthier lake ecosystem; the addition of path and landscape improvements including new benches along the lakes; and, the completion of electricity to the Trout and Minnow shelters.


The over $2 million in upgrades comes as a result of a park improvement fund that was set up when the county entered into an agreement with Range Resources for off-site extraction of natural gas at the park, as well as revenues from that gas.