Borough Wins Park Remediation Plan Grant

Pollock Park (at top) as seen in 2017, shortly after its closure

POTTSTOWN PA – A $56,704 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development was awarded Wednesday (Sept. 25, 2019) to create an environmental assessment and remediation plan for Pollock Park on the former Mayer Pollock Steel Company site, 836 Cross St. Closed since 2017, the borough intends to return the park property to recreational use.

Pollock Park is meant to serve a residential borough neighborhood, and is a designated trail head park for the Schuylkill River Trail. “Mature trees along (the) edge of (the) park and near (its) playground offer shade. (The) playground, large multi-purpose open space, benches and sitting areas, and basketball court are available,” according to a Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation description of the property.

Heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyl have been identified in the soil throughout the property. Experts suggest its contamination originates from the previous use of the site as a scrap yard.

The grant will pay for soil tests, installing and monitoring ground water wells, data validation, reporting of results, and drafting a state Department of Environmental Protection-approved remediation plan.

The park is “very important … to the surrounding residential neighborhood and to Pottstown at large, and it has real potential as a destination park with appeal to the wider community,” borough Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart said. The grant “is crucial support for the effort to restore a key Pottstown recreation space to public use.”

The award was announced locally by both politicians and government agencies.

The state provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation carried out by eligible applicants who did not cause or contribute to contamination. It’s designed to foster cleanups that bring blighted land into productive reuse, the state indicated.

Photo from Google Images