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A project to improve Biddle Mission Park in Carlisle's west end will likely begin in spring thanks to a little help from the borough.

As part of the tentative 2011 budget, the borough will take on work to complete all three phases of the project, which includes installing a walking trail around the park.

Dubbed PATH, which stands for Park Access To Health, the trail will be a 5-foot-wide, nearly half-mile-long, crushed-stone walking path and construction will start in the spring, said Curtis Hetrick, president of the East Side Neighbors Association (ESNA).

The second and third phases will include improving a parking lot at the East North Street entrance to the park and adding a parking lot off Garrison Lane, he added.

"So having said all that, the Carlisle Public Works Department has agreed to do all the work, including excavating and building (phases) one, two and three," Hetrick said. "The approved $33,150.00 will cover their contribution per the budget."

For ESNA, the group that pushed for the project and handled preparation work, it has to cover the cost of materials needed to complete the phases.

"The borough would be reimbursed for the cost of materials," said Andrea Crouse, director of the parks and recreation department.


The Carlisle Area Health & Wellness Foundation donated $8,500 in grant money for the walking trail.

That, coupled with the in kind contribution from the borough, will cover all the materials needed for completion of phase one, Hetrick said.

As for the East North Street parking lot, $25,000 is needed to buy materials, he added.

The Carlisle Area Sertoma Club contributed $1,000 toward that effort since the club's building is located in the park and members park in the existing grass-covered parking lot when attending meetings.

"Currently, parking is in the grass or is on East North Street if the chain is up," Hetrick said.

The new lot, he added, would enable access into the park and the walking trail.

"It also prevents cars from entering the interior of the park allowing for safer, more enjoyable areas for leisure and play," he said.

To accomplish the parking lot projects, ESNA and Sertoma have been searching for donations from the community.

Earlier this year, the Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA) signed on as the fiscal sponsor. Under that role, DCA agreed to accept donations on behalf of ESNA.

Hetrick said plans to improve the park were brought on by residents wanting to clean it up.

In 2008, multiple shots were fired inside and outside of the Sertoma building, which is owned by the borough and leased to the club. A private party had rented the building from the club.

Over the past couple of years, Hetrick said, ESNA members and neighbors have fought to keep the park from becoming a scene of "unfavorable activities."

"We hope to keep this positive change moving with the addition of the off street parking lot," he said.

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