Upper Allen park upgrades elevate Township’s open spaces

September 2023

Friendship Park in Upper Allen Township

From small playgrounds to major rural sites, C.S. Davidson has helped transform parks across Upper Allen Township.

As the Township’s engineer of record, C.S. Davidson has been working with Upper Allen since 2014.

Engineering a vast expanse

While the company has worked on several Township projects, C.S. Davidson engineers started working on the largest project ever in the Township about two years ago, getting heavily involved earlier this year.

The 60-acre Upper Allen Generations Park, located at 1340 E. Lisburn Road, is a former horse farm the Township purchased. Derck and Edson, the landscape design firm, was hired to create a master plan for the Township’s new park. The Township brought on C.S. Davidson to design the master infrastructure plan for the site to ensure everything being planned works from the engineering side.  

The Township is focused on enhancing passive recreation at Generations Park. When finished, the site will include an extensive trail system, an amphitheater, a skate park, a pump track, pickleball, open meadows, restrooms, picnic areas, pavilions, event facilities, nature trails, and a senior playground area with a pavilion, horseshoes, bocce ball, and public restrooms. But as the full build-out will take between 10 and 15 years, that’s all still to come.

“The Township is really focused on providing natural open areas for passive recreation around the Park perimeter like woodland walking trails, preservation of open meadows, and having areas for bird watching while providing low-intensity active recreation activities in the center of the Park,” said Jason Reichard, PE, C.S. Davidson civil engineer and senior client manager who serves as Upper Allen’s engineer of record. “It’s such a large park and the grand scale of the property means the overarching challenge is making it all come together and work as planned.”

Right now, C.S. Davidson is focused on site grading, vehicle and handicapped accessibility, permitting, establishing public drinking water, and stormwater management. Reichard and the C.S. Davidson team previously helped the Township apply for grants to build two miles of trails in 2024. The company has already built about 1,000 feet of new access road into the site.

Small but mighty

While Generations Park might be the headline grabber, C.S. Davidson has done work on several other important spaces in Upper Allen Township. At Winding Hill Park North, the firm worked in multiple phases to upgrade the site. First, C.S. Davidson designed large recreation fields for lacrosse and soccer, as well as new parking lots for access to the park. The company did all field surveys, site design work, and permitting, as well as putting out projects for public bidding and administering and inspecting the contracts through construction.

One highlight of the project was a playground and courtyard adjacent to the concession stand and pavilion. Working with the Township, C.S. Davidson helped bring to life Upper Allen’s concept for an all-inclusive play area, so there is equipment for youth and toddlers up to 10 years old. There are ADA-accessible aspects and a sensory area with a maze and touch and sound stations bells and other noisemakers. C.S. Davidson also designed the pavilion and central structure, considered the hub of this park.

C.S. Davidson also recently upgraded Friendship Park in Upper Allen, which is very focused on active recreation, especially soccer fields. The scope of work included removing old monkey bars and other outdated equipment that did not meet current safety standards and replacing them with inclusive playground equipment including facilities for mobility-challenged children.

There was one extra special concern in Friendship Park. The Upper Allen Woman’s Club previously raised significant funds to build the original playground, and the park had a brick walkway with the names of everyone who made donations.

C.S. Davidson needed to pull up the walkway to redesign the space. In doing so, the firm reimagined the use of the bricks and created a special new place they refer to as “Friendship Circle.” Now, several walkways come together into a circular pattern where C.S. Davidson reincorporated the bricks around a centerpiece with trees and benches to preserve that important acknowledgment. Now that it has been redesigned, the Township reenergized the Park by hosting movies and other events in Friendship Park.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Upper Allen Township,” Reichard said.  “I’ve been inspired as an engineer working with Upper Allen because the Township leaders are very proactive, have a clear vision of their goals for the Township and are always focused on making positive improvements for residents. It’s really given me an opportunity to express myself as an engineer.”

If you’re seeking civil and municipal engineering services, contact us today to explore how we can partner to improve your area.