In 2006, flooding destroyed a small community’s park. The Borough of Schuylkill Haven reacted quickly, and with the support of volunteers and the Keystone Fund, restored and enhanced the recreational area.
The 21-acre Island Park, nestled between the Schuylkill River and the Reading and Blue Mountain Railroads, is Schuylkill Haven’s only remaining open recreational space. Before the flood, the area accommodated a few softball and soccer fields. The community had considered improvements to the park over the years. But the flood damage forced them to start from scratch.
Community leaders moved forward with a new vision for enhancing recreation opportunities in the area, and the Keystone Fund helped turn that vision into reality. Keystone grants funded the construction of a state-of-the-art softball field that can be adapted for youth and adult leagues. The park also incorporates accessibility measures to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The park now brings people together to enjoy a variety of sports programs and events.
The park also plays an important role in connecting the community to the outdoors; visitors can walk, jog, and bike along the trail, and find easy access to the river for fishing and paddling.
The borough is interested in building on the success of the park and hopes to eventually add a second ballfield, a walking bridge that will connect the park to the downtown, and an amphitheater for hosting outdoor concerts and cultural events.