Peterswood Park Amphitheater

The new amphitheater at Peterswood Park shown while still under construction in 2016.

For 2020, Peters Township Council has approved two policies governing municipal parks and recreation facilities.

One provides revisions to the existing policy addressing requests to host fundraising activities at township sites, and the other covers the use of the Peterswood Park Amphitheater.

“The idea is to be able to provide individuals who are interested in sponsoring events with a clear path in terms of how to make application to do that,” township manager Paul Lauer said during council’s Dec. 16 meeting. “This is attempting to deal with requests we continue to get to use our facilities to raise money.”

The fundraising policy’s overall guidelines state that any such event “should have a worthwhile reason for collecting funds benefiting a cause or organization either in Peters Township or serving Peters Township.” And according to a more specific guideline: “The event must benefit a charitable cause in Peters Township or our region.”

“We changed that to ‘region’ as opposed to just benefiting the township so that it’s a little bit more widespread,” Michele Harmel, parks and recreation director, explained. Examples could include raising money on a local level for, say, the American Cancer Society or, as Harmel noted, the Washington City Mission.

The policy now includes use of the Arrowhead Trail, the section of the Montour Trail system that was developed and is owned by Peters Township.

“We get a lot of requests to do fundraisers along the trail,” Lauer said. “This is trying to bring some order to that process, so that those types of events are spread out and not constant.”

And so, according to the policy: “We only permit events on the Arrowhead Trail with no less than four weeks between.”

Procedurally, an applicant is required to submit a request form, full description of all aspects of an event and certificate of insurance to the parks and recreation director at least two months prior, and approval must be granted before publicity can be conducted.

The two-month lead time also applies to the amphitheater at Peterswood Park.

“Now that we’ve redone the amphitheater, we’re getting more and more requests, some for benefit, some for personal use,” Harmel said, giving the example of the latter of a band playing a concert last summer for friends and family members.

The policy states that no requests will receive approval until the parks and recreation department completes its schedule of activities for the season.

Other provisions include:

  • All activities and events must be complete, including cleanup and the area evacuated, before dark. “It will be the responsibility of those organizing the activity or event to make sure the area is cleaned at the conclusion.”
  • All content must be family-friendly and appropriate for a public park.
  • “You will be responsible for providing your own sound if necessary for your event. The level of sound must be contained to the amphitheater only.”

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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