Township supervisor and park board chair Woody Myers has lived near the site of Latimore Township Park for many decades. Like many other neighbors and township residents, he remembers the area as a farmer’s field where Jersey cows roamed and large hay bales were made. Over the years, the land passed hands a few times until the township purchased it with a view to developing a community park. Thanks to the persistence and volunteer help of people like Woody, and with the support of two generous grants from the DCNR Keystone Fund, the township now has a thriving park that is enjoyed by old and young alike.
The DCNR grants were used for the construction and furnishing of a pavilion and the installation of two playground sets for children. Both the pavilion and playground have proven to be very popular among township residents and visitors, and, since there are also plenty of parking spaces available, the park has become a convenient and pleasant place for families and groups to gather together for special events, picnics, and playdates.
The establishment of Latimore Township Park has been a simple but effective way of encouraging youth activities, sporting events, and general good health and exercise. Throughout the warmer months, the several playing fields are packed with youth soccer groups, and the township supervisors have enjoyed a good working relationship with the leaders of the soccer groups as schedules and facilities are coordinated. There are also many people who make good use of the mile-long walking trail around the park.
Latimore Township is predominantly a rural, agricultural area, and the preservation of open, green spaces has been one of the supervisors’ primary goals while in office. The township park is part of that larger plan of caring for the natural environment because it protects a large green space from unwanted development while still providing for public use. Supervisor Woody Myers has taken great care to plant more trees, shrubs, and flowers around the park and has installed several bird houses along the walking trail.
Efforts have been made to personalize the park by honoring local people’s involvement. At the entrance to the park, there is a beautiful wooden sign crafted by a local artist. Within the park, there is a special memorial to Sergeant Michael C. Weigand, a member of the Latimore Township Police Department who, sadly, was killed in the line of duty in 2008. Other plans still in the works include planting trees and donating benches in memory of the late Mike and Phyllis Juliana, who were instrumental in founding the park. It has been important to local residents that these special people and their contributions be honored in this way.
The Latimore Township supervisors and park board are thankful that the park remains a part of this community and are very pleased with its continued popularity. Though it may be a difficult thing to measure, Woody Myers describes the park’s success very succinctly: “There’s always someone there!”