For months, members of the Abington Lions Club have sawed, pruned, hauled, and chipped away at the park beautification project they began at Hillside Park in April.
Nineteen weekend sessions is the time frame Ed Borek, Abington Lions Club president said club members have contributed to date to improve the appearance of a stretch of park land measuring two-tenths of a mile, or 1,056 feet, along Winola Road, Route 307, from the shores of Lake Eston Wilson to the softball fields.
Hillside Park is managed by the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB). Borek met with Glenburn Township board member and project manager, Tim McCoy, in advance to collaborate and define the scope of the project.
“I’m very appreciative of the (AAJRB) for having confidence in us and then giving us full approval to make decisions on our own and work independently… to our time schedule. Overall, it allowed us to do something positive for them when we were able to do it,” said Borek.
Crews affiliated with the Abington Lions Club removed overgrowth brush, as well as unsightly and potentially hazardous decaying or rotted trees from the park’s landscape.
“In some cases we thinned the smaller saplings out to allow the more advanced trees to take ownership of that particular piece of land. I think in a few years, if they’re allowed to spread their wings a little bit, and they can grow a bit, as the years go by it’s going to add more beauty to it. We had the fishermen in mind, so we didn’t want to take all of the trees,” said Borek.
The crews that included as many as nine volunteers at a time, have worked more than 200 hours and have saved the board more than $3,000 in contractor’s fees, Borek estimated.
“We took the responsibility for all of the expenses,” said Borek, noting club members used their own trucks and equipment such as chainsaws and weed whackers throughout the project.
“We discussed the project at a board meeting and the board agreed that it would be a community project well worth it…We were glad to help… I think it greatly enhances the ball park and overall the park complex,” said Borek.
This is not the first time the Abington Lions Club has stepped up to volunteer at the park.
“The last three or four years, we’ve been heavily involved with (the AAJRB),” said Borek .
“The AAJRB is very grateful for the independent and focused hard work that the Abington Lions did on Winola Road. They have created a beautiful first impression of Hillside Park. Their effort set the stage for us to continue beautification of Winola Road with the addition of flowering trees and bushes as a next phase. It is through the cooperation of groups such as the Lions with the AAJRB that we can have park enhancements and its overall sustainability,” said Diane Vietz, AAJRB Clarks Green board representative.
Outside of the park, the Abington Lions Club also helps to enhance the community through other programs, such as the Adopt-a-Highway program and the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice.
Borek said the Hillside Park project should be completed within two weeks.