Blueprint Committee Closes on Property for Clarion Borough Neighborhood Park
(Pictured, left to right: Attorney Dan Ferringer, Blueprint Secretary-Treasurer Sarah MacBeth, Janice Horn, Blueprint committee president Brenda Sanders-Dede, and Program manager Jessica Funk.)
(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
The closure of the purchase was another major step forward for the project, which has been in the works since borough resident Janice Horn began developing a plan to fund the creation of additional parks in the borough nearly two years ago.
“The idea really came when my family visited from Wisconsin and said: ‘Let’s go to a park and have our lunch,’ and I said: ‘There isn’t one,'” Horn told exploreClarion.com.
“I had been trying to think of something I wanted to do for the borough, and settled on this. There’s a playground at the elementary school, but it’s difficult to walk there, so I thought it would be nice to have a pocket-park or one or two pocket-parks in town, but this is going to be a little more than a pocket park. It will serve teenagers quite well and adults also, besides the kids.”
The plans for the park include a water feature, a skating rink, tennis courts, basketball courts, a walking area, a seating area, a small building for restrooms, and water fountains, among other amenities.
According to Blueprint Community president Brenda Sanders-Dede, the plans recently began to progress at a “whirlwind pace.”
“As of Thursday, we were looking at closing (on the sale of the property) around the 15th of October and now here today, we’re closed because all of the funding came into place,” Dede said.
“We’re certainly appreciative of everybody who’s involved in it, and definitely want to thank those people who stepped up at the last minute and made sure this project happened. This is a community effort. You can’t imagine what a great project this will be when it’s completed and the community has the opportunity to come out and view it.”
Blueprint committee members stood for a photo with Janice Horn, the originator and driving force behind the project, as well as a major donor toward the project.
“We’re here for Mrs. Horn today, but a private donor provided some support, and the Miles Brothers LLC also stepped up and made the final project happen, first of all from the design and by making sure that Blueprint and the private donor were on the same page,” Dede said.
“We’d also like to thank attorney Dan Ferringer and Heeter and Associates for their assistance.”
Dede noted that the Blueprint subcommittee for finance is now actively looking at funding for completing the park project.
“We’ve got to have money to equip the part and to build the park out, so that’s what that committee is working on now.”
According to program manager Jessica Funk, the timetable for the project will depend on how quickly the committee can find funding.
“It’s going to be multi-phase and it’s going to take some time,” Funk said.
The committee has already applied for the Neighborhood Assistance Program Tax Credit program and should know about that around November, Funk noted.
“That will either rapidly speed things up, or we’ll have to change direction and find some other funding sources.”
The committee has already received at least one other sizable contribution from another community member, according to Dede.
For community members who would like to contribute to the funding for the park, the contact person for donations is Secretary-Treasurer Sarah MacBeth, who can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 814-389-3495. Donations can also be made via PayPal to [email protected]
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