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 June 19, 2017 - Dauphin County Commissioners officially open Detweiler Park

HARRISBURG, PA (June 19, 2017) – The Dauphin County Commissioners today 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. “I want to especially thank the Detweiler family for the great gift they’ve given our community.’’
where they can sign up for email updates on upcoming park meetings and other information. 
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 is 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.
Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III joined with his fellow board members in thanking the Detweiler family and said he looks forward to hearing ideas from the public on how to make the most out of the new park.
“Detweiler Park belongs to Dauphin County’s residents,’’ Hartwick said. “We hope our residents will take an active role in helping decide how this fantastic resource will benefit countless generations to come.’’
In addition to saving green space through parks, the Dauphin County Commissioners continue to protect farms through the Farmland Preservation Program. The program uses a mix of state, federal and county funds to buy development rights and ensure the land will continue for agriculture use.
Since 1992, when Dauphin County began purchasing easements, the county has preserved 16,512 acres on 168 farms in 13 municipalities.


Category: Dauphin County
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