John M. Ryan Memorial Park, Hometown, was cleaned up last month by a group of Rush Township volunteers, but more plans are in store for the park.

The Rush Township Board of Supervisors has developed a 10-year forest stewardship plan for the park, which is comprised of four tracts of land totaling 26.44 acres.

The park is bordered by Ye Olde Hauto Road and Keller Road on the southern end, while Route 309 is the western boundary and the residential properties along Laurelwood Street border it on the northern end.

Due to this initiative, Frank P. Snyder, service forester for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry, Weiser Forest District, presented Rush Supervisors Stephen W. Simchak, chairman, and Robert J. Leibensperger with a forest stewardship sign and certificate at the Ryan Park site.

The board is looking to develop the township's parks, such as Ryan and Quakake Park, to provide better outdoor recreational opportunities for its residents. With the Ryan Park project, watershed protection and improving the wildlife habitat are also goals, in order to ensure their health and preservations for future generations to enjoy.

As a forest steward, the township will also receive periodic assessments of the park's natural resources from the DCNR forester, along with recommendations on trees that need to be timbered. The forester will assist the township in maintaining its "stewardship" status.

The board has applied for grants to develop the park while enhancing its forest resources. An application was submitted to the Department of Labor and Industry for a maximum reimbursable amount not to exceed $15,000 to help develop the walking and biking trails at the park.

The supervisors also submitted a grant application to the Small Community Development Conservation Partnerships Program for $20,000 to upgrade the park area, landscaping and handicapped accessibility along the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

Donations are being accepted toward the Ryan Memorial Park project, and volunteers are being sought for cleaning up the park throughout the year.

For more information, contact the Rush Township administrative office at (570) 668-2938.