Think Spring!

Eric Fisher - Buzzfeed

Image courtesy of Eric Fisher and Buzzfeed.

Enough of this cold and snow already!

Another round of snow, ice, and cold will be ushering in this next week, the last of February.  While we can consider ourselves fortunate that we don’t live, say, anywhere in New England, it still has been plenty cold enough in these parts the last few days.  Real temperatures below zero, wind chills in the minus-20’s a below.  And now another 5-8″ Saturday, turning to ice, before turning to all rain Sunday.  And then the forecast temperatures drop frigidly again later next week.

What’s a winter-weary person to do?  Well, let’s think Spring thoughts.  Here’s one to look forward to: Daylight Savings Time returns in two weeks!  Spring Ahead! 

Okay, so while nothing is technically gained here (except for the cursory 2-3 extra minutes of daylight that we would get even if time didn’t change), it at least feels good, no?  It will at least seem like it is still daylight later. 

Here’s one: in less than two weeks after we ‘spring our clocks ahead, the first day of Spring really will be arriving!

For now, that just can’t seem to get here soon enough!  In the meantime, how about this: envision lush green grass, the smells of lilac, tulip pollen (this writer has springtime allergies!), and bark mulch.  Here the birds chirping, power saws screaming, and drills squealing.

Oops…burst your idyllic image?  Well, part of our Spring dreaming is looking forward to the building of the new Amos Herr Dream Park up the road from us at the A Herr Park, adjacent to the East Hempfield Township Municipal Offices.  In a public-private funding partnership between the Township, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the tremendous fundraising and volunteer efforts of the East Hempfield community, construction is tentatively scheduled to begin as soon as May of this year.  


Grand opening, 1992. Image courtesy of the A Herr Dream Park Steering Committee.

First constructed in 1992, the playground has led a long and fruitful life.  However, it’s time had come and gone.  Features breaking down, wood weathering and providing safety hazards; the lack of accessibility for anyone in a wheelchair, and the generally narrow accesses were all key to bringing it to a close and having it replaced.

02 old picket

Our old picket from 1992.

01 new picket

New pickets.

The Township had $150,000 left over from the first build in 1992; that and the aforementioned $175,000 grant provided funding to get the project off of the ground.  The true impetus and momentum to bring this to fruition has come from the local community and the group that has been formed to oversee the project, from fund raising to the eventual volunteer build.  With the layout and design provided by Play by Design LLC based on ideas and input from our local children, the new playground will be a cutting-edge facility that all can be proud of.

The demolition and preparation of the site is underway; we’re excited for May to get here to see the rebuild take place!  But in the meantime we need to get through the rest of this old Winter first! 

For more about the new A Herr Dream Park, see East Hempfield Township’s web page and the Dream Park Facebook page.