History of the Line Mountain Recreation Area
The soccer programs at both Line Mountain High School and the community American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) were started in 1992-1993. Within several years, the number of youth participating in the programs increased dramatically and the need for better playing fields was recognized. Several coaches and parents met with area businessman Fred Meckley to look at availability of land to construct several soccer fields. Mr. Meckley agreed to donate 10.5 acres of land for this purpose. As the planning process slowly moved forward, several additional playing field needs were identified. These were for community Little League, girls' softball, and teener baseball. With this additional need in mind, Mr. Meckley changed his donated land parcel to a 38.5-acre tract to provide the additional needed space.
Several more years passed with only one or two people working on field design, procurement of state grants and local funding. Finally in 1999, after considerable research and several informal meetings, it was decided that the land should be deeded to the township in which it was located and a Parks and Recreation Board (PRB) should be formed. This board consists of five members who are not required to live in Lower Mahanoy Township. The reason for this being that the recreation area is to be open for use by the entire community, not just the residents of Lower Mahanoy Township.
Several community meetings have been held since 1999 to gather ideas and encourage community support for the project. The PRB has revised the field layout plan several times to incorporate additional needs and uses for the recreation area. Presently it consists of two full size regulation soccer fields, three small soccer fields for the AYSO program, one regulation baseball field, one softball field, and a multi-purpose field which could be used for field hockey, midget football, marching band practice, or several other uses. These fields will be complimented by a centrally located concession area with modern restroom facilities, a picnic pavilion, playground, sand volleyball court, and a basketball court. The entire area will be encircled by a walking/fitness trail and a bicycle riding area will be included.
These field areas will be available for use by the Line Mountain School District as well as all interested community sports teams in return for a user fee for the privilege to reserve times and dates for said use. These fees will help cover part of the operating cost of the recreation area.
We have contracted with Mid Penn Engineering of Lewisburg to assist us with field design and a cost analysis. The total estimated cost of this facility is $1.8 million. The project will need to be done in several phases over a period of three to five years. The PRB has applied for several state grants during 2001 and 2002 with no grant monies being procured. Fortunately, however, in May of 2003 the PRB was notified that a DCNR grant has been approved for our project in the amount of $150,000. Also, we are currently working with Northumberland County Planning Commission to write our grant applications for 2004 and we have been meeting with representatives of these grant agencies for assistance.
The PRB has a considerable amount of local funding com mitted to the construction of the project. The Degenstein Family Foundation has given us a $50,000 grant. We also have approximately $100,000 available in cash, commitments of cash, materials, equipment use, and donated services. State Representative Merle Phillips has also procured some state grant funds to help cover our engineering costs to date.
Our DCNR grant, along with our local funding, gives us $300,000 to use to finalize construction plans, procure the necessary permits, and hopefully break ground by September. This amount will allow us to construct an access road, storm water management, and one playing field.
The PRB invites everyone in the community to support this very worthy project with financial commitments and/or in-kind donations of equipment use, labor, or services. Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings on the fourth Monday of each month at the Lower Mahanoy Township building at 7:30 PM. The PRB appreciates your continued support as the Line Mountain Recreation Area begins to take shape.