Foxburg area gets a look at proposed community park

Foxburg residents this week got their first look at the plans for a proposed riverside park. Fox-Hunt Community Park, which would cover 4 acres, would be constructed next to the Route 58 bridge along Railroad Street.

Approximately 40 people who on Thursday attended a meeting at the Crawford Center in Emlenton were asked to submit comments regarding the proposed project.

Bob Genter, a landscape architect with Pittsburgh-based Mackin Engineers, said the park would have a long-term effect on the community and the region.

“This park, and the activity on the trail, will bring in friends, neighbors and new friends from all over to see what you have,” he said.

The street level would allow access to the trail and parking. The Allegheny River Trail in Clarion County (ARTinCC) has been working to connect the trail from Emlenton to Foxburg, which will enable bikers to ride from Parker to Titusville on this section of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.

Genter said the park would be built on three levels — the street level, the level below the retaining wall and the river level.

“We developed spaces and activities that the residents would like to use,” Genter said. “This will attract all ages.”

Genter said the park would include an enhanced boat launch area and a picnic pavilion. The caboose currently located on the south end of town would be moved to the new park.

“There will be places to play and walk,” he said. “Everything we design we try to have ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.”

Genter said there would be space near the bridge for artwork. On the second level would be a deck with shade shelter overlooking the Allegheny River. There also is space for community programs. The bike trail would cross directly above the park.

Genter said the proposed $1.4 million project would be completed in phases. The committee received a planning grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

John Sorroka, vice-president of the park planning committee, said the grant would be used to begin construction of the parking lot and to erect fencing along the boundary with a neighboring trucking company.

Ben Keyes, a member of the park planning committee, said the park was named for the Fox family and the Hunt brothers.

Sorroka said this was a long-term project and that the community “needs to see it through to completion.”