While it may be hard to imagine splashing around in a wading pool on a stifling summer day during one of Bradford County’s biggest snowstorms of the year, ice skating may seem appealing — the opportunity for both will soon be in Gillett.
Gillett Community Park is in the works and a model for the upcoming recreation area has been released that includes plans for a splash pad, ice skating rink/wading pool, playground, walking trail, grills and picnic tables.
Paige Ference, chair of the Gillett Park Committee, stated that the new park will be located behind the Gillett Post Office on land owned by the township and will be welcoming to all as it will be compliant with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ference explained that the playground that is currently on the land is “outdated and unsafe” and that she has “made it her mission” to create a place that all children and families can enjoy after spending years working in a special education classroom.
Funding for the park will be raised through fundraisers hosted by the Gillett Park Committee and by grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“Very little if any money (will be) put in by the township,” she said.
Ference stated that the total cost of the project is yet to be determined as it will depend on DCNR grants.
The opening of the park is also yet to be decided as its creation will be completed in phases determined by grant timing and amounts.
Ference said that local little league games will continue to be played at the McNeal Fields, but a decision has not been made on whether baseball will be hosted on the “unused field” behind the Gillett Post Office.
The vision for the park is to benefit all children and families in the community, not just athletic children, Ference stated.
Ference told that currently there is “nothing in this community for children” and nowhere to walk except for on the roadways for anyone looking to exercise or walk their animals, and that the park will provide a place for adults and children alike to enjoy.
Others have attempted to create a similar park for the area in the past but the idea has never been made into reality until now, Ference stated.
“(There has been) serious consideration into every move we have made,” she said.