SANATOGA PA – The “thrill of the grill,” absent from Lower Pottsgrove Township’s largest park for more than 30 years, is making a comeback.
The township Parks and Recreation Board has ordered two new outdoor charcoal grills, costing about $125 each, to be installed at the pavilion in the lower (west) portion of the 54-acre Sanatoga Park on South Sanatoga Road, Assistant Manager Alyson Elliott recently told the Board of Commissioners.
Several picnic tables are already in place beneath the pavilion’s protective roof, but township-provided grills haven’t been seen there since the late 1970s, Elliott noted. Earlier models were damaged over time and removed.
Outdoor dining remains popular in the park, she said; families can enjoy a meal there, particularly before a summer Sunday concert or while fishing at nearby Sanatoga Lake. It may amount only to sandwiches, chips and beverages, though.
That’s because cooking fires of any kind are prohibited under a 2008 law in any of the township’s 14 parks and open spaces unless contained within “designated cooking grills or stoves” supplied by Lower Pottsgrove. Privately owned cooking grills or stoves are not allowed except when approved by specific permit, for which picnickers must apply in advance at the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.
Occasional inspections of the area near the pavilion indicate some visitors have illegally dug small charcoal pits for impromptu roasts, raising the prospect of potential fires. During the current state of near-drought conditions, Elliott added, a small blaze could quickly become big trouble.
Small family groups and visitors won’t need a permit to make use of the new grills or the pavilion itself, so act on that spur-of-the-moment urge to dine al fresco in the park’s beautiful surroundings. For larger groups – roughly 20 to 50 or more people – a facility usage permit may be required. It was updated last year, and can be downloaded from the township website, here.