PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

New park opens in Dauphin County; commissioners want input from residents on how it should be used

Posted 6/21/17

The Dauphin County commissioners Monday opened the 411-acre Detweiler Park in Middle Paxton Township — the largest of the county’s eight parks — and asked for the public’s help in deciding …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

New park opens in Dauphin County; commissioners want input from residents on how it should be used

Posted

The Dauphin County commissioners Monday opened the 411-acre Detweiler Park in Middle Paxton Township — the largest of the county’s eight parks — and asked for the public’s help in deciding how to use the land.

“We want to hear from the people who will be spending quality time here for decades to come,” said board Chairman Jeff Haste, who thanked the Detweiler family for making the park possible.

County residents are invited to visit www.detweilerpark.org, where they will find a place to share their ideas for the park and sign up for email updates on upcoming park meetings and other information. Letters with ideas about the park can be mailed to the Dauphin County Commissioners, P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA 17108.

The property includes a farmhouse, seven miles of walking trails and a fish hatchery maintained by the Dauphin County Anglers and Conservation Club on Clark’s Creek, which borders the park’s western edge. Temporary parking and an entrance to the trails are available at the Dauphin County Conservation District’s headquarters, 1451 Peters Mountain Road.

“Creating recreational opportunities for our residents and preserving open space are key elements to having healthy communities and enhancing quality of life,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “From an economic development standpoint, businesses looking to relocate or expand want to see a region that has a lot to offer employees, and in Dauphin County, I know that Detweiler Park will be a big attraction.’’

Public meetings will be held this year to get input for a master plan on what features should be developed, including a new parking area, fields for sporting events and potentially converting the farmhouse to a nature center.

The Detweiler family, which once operated the Harrisburg Telegraph, WHP and Stackpole Books, has owned the land for four generations and had long hoped it could be preserved. Late last year Susan Detweiler, Frances Detweiler Granatino and Esme Detweiler Freedman approved the combined gift and sale to the county.

The Detweilers donated $897,500 of the land’s $2.4 million purchase price to the county. The remaining money came from an $887,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and $607,500 in county gaming grant money from the Hollywood Casino at Penn National.