Joseph Stump would have been happy to see a park being built on land that was once part of his York Township farm.

However, he died while the park was in its planning stage.

"Dad would have been glad to see the fruition of this thing," Terry Stump, Joseph Stump's son, said during a groundbreaking ceremony for the park Thursday.

Stump Park will be along Days Mill Road adjacent to the York County Heritage Rail Trail's Brillhart Station parking lot.

The first phase of construction will begin in early August, said Debra Hatley, township recreation director. The park should open in fall 2010.

In the first phase of construction, crews will create four athletic fields, two parking lots that can accommodate 160 vehicles total, stormwater management, and an almost-1-mile-long paved trail that will encircle the park. A path will connect to the rail trail parking lot.

"The township needed more athletic fields," said Dan Shelly, chairman of the township's recreation commission.

All told, construction of the first phase of the nearly 24-acre park will cost about $800,000. Most of the money will come from state and federal grants, some of which is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal stimulus package.

The township had allocated $500,000 in developer fees, which is money paid to the township for maintaining or creating recreation facilities. But Hatley said only $250,000 to $300,000 will be drawn from the fund.

Robert Steele, board of commissioners president, said funding from various agencies will keep taxpayers' cost low.


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A second phase of construction, which will begin after 2010 depending on finances, will include a plaza that will feature a playground, restrooms, a concession stand, and a maintenance and storage building. Pavilions will also be built around the park.

Township commissioners verbally committed $500,000 from the 2010 budget to finish the park.

During a state-mandated archeological survey, an arrowhead was found, prompting about a half-acre of the park to be designated as land that can not be developed.

Hatley presented the artifact to the Stump family during the ceremony.

"I've never seen it before, so I'm kind of glad to get to have a look at it," Terry Stump said.


On the blog
- Thousands discover formerly unheralded York County rail trail's Howard Tunnel. Read more at York Town Square.