The need for more volunteers was a primary topic at the Walnutport Recreation Board meeting last night, with temporary President Wayne Weidner saying they don't have enough people to get much accomplished.
"We need support and volunteers from the community," agreed secretary Michele Novak. "Our biggest problem is manpower … We have to have the backing of the community."
The current committee consists of just five volunteers, who said they handed out flyers at last Sunday's Walnutport Canal Festival in an effort to garner more interest in the program.
The committee is tasked with working with the community to utilize recreational facilities within the borough, such as the canal park and the local playground, to hold private and public events. It also attempts to help different organizations within the borough, such as the Canal Association and the Playground Association, to gain grants, hold fundraising events and start new programs for all residents, both young and old.
Committee members noted some past suggestions had included volleyball and basketball tournaments, horseshoe pits, Frisbee disc golf baskets, bocce ball courts and family movie nights at the playground, plus organized group walks and bike rides along the canal.
They also said that, many years ago, there was a similar recreation board in Walnutport that used to run these types of events, mainly at the playground in the summertime. Both members Donald Eckhart and Vince Morris recalled having attended the program as youngsters, where they said there was an emphasis on arts and crafts and playing games, such as softball, basketball, paddle ball, board games like chess and checkers and more.
They explained that there had been a grant that was used to hire college students, who would then receive a stipend, to run the program all summer long.
Weidner said he believed that particular recreation board shut down mainly due to funding issues and that it wasn't until January of 2011 that the borough council decided to resurrect the Walnutport Recreation Board. He noted that, currently, the board has $1,000 from the council with which to work.
Later, the board discussed attending the upcoming meeting Rep. Julie Harhart (R-183rd) plans to hold at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in her district office at 125 S. Walnut St. in Slatington to discuss a regional recreational organization. The proposed organization would serve Walnutport, Slatington and Washington Township and has been a topic of discussion at both Walnutport's and Slatington's recent borough council meetings.