“The park looks great, everything is just packed – there are people everywhere,” said Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) board member Jimmy Phelps responding to the recent heavy use of the Gettysburg rec park.
Board members said they could not recall a time in the last few years where all 5 baseball fields have been used this consistently. “Baseball is all year now,” said GARA Executive Director Erin Peddigree.
Peddigree said scheduling all 15 baseball teams had been difficult. In the coming months the board will consider ways to problem solve the growth in the programs by considering options like portable pitchers’ mounds and multiple length field conversions. “We have a lot of shimmying and shaking,” said Peddigree.
To keep up with caring for the park’s 53 acres which currently need to be mowed three times per week, GARA recently purchased a zero-turn mower and a bush trimmer. The board is also hoping to purchase a tractor for snow plowing, a work “gator” truck, and a golf cart. The purchases have been made with Covid-related funds from Gettysburg Borough.
Peddigree said many local schools from the area have been renting the pavilions and tour buses have also been using the park. Weekend baseball and softball tournaments and events area also popular.
GARA continues to look for grant money to update the baseball fields. Peddigree said Little League has a 10 year contract with the rec park that expires in 2025.
“It’s great to see kids playing baseball again, it’s fun to come out here and see the parks so busy. It’s important to make sure that all the kids can get out there and play, having time for all of the kids to practice,” said board member Robin Fitzpatrick.
Peddigree said the Adams County Library Fun Fest was returning to the park on June 10, a Juneteenth celebration will be held on June 19, and July 4 preparations were continuing.
Peddigree said there was over $168,000 in savings. “Budget-wise we’re doing OK,” she said.
Hannah Eastham is a freelance journalist and travel writer. Hannah has a strong background in writing with a degree from university in Marketing and Communications with a focus in journalism, and has held staff positions on various publications before swapping to freelance. Now a full time educator and a part time freelancer, Hannah enjoys practicing what she teaches with keeping her writing relevant and current.