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*****INTRODUCTION is missing*******

 

A. PARK AND RECREATION

1. Overview

Open space, park land, and recreational facilities are an important part of the life style and environment of Lower Merion residents. During the past several decades, the township has acquired many pieces of land for park purposes, and today this inventory includes 26 separate parcels and one site jointly used with Haverford Township.

During the past years the township has maintained a joint recreation program with the School District, which was funded by both entities until recently. By utilizing school properties, additional recreational opportunities were made available to the residents of Lower Merion. These school recreation sites are a vital part of the facilities needed for the entire township, and it is recommended that they continue to be made available to all residents. It is for this reason that school recreation sites are included in the following figures identifying recreational facilities located throughout the township.

Additionally, this section will provide the following information:

  • standards for park and recreation analysis;
  • an inventory of all public and school parks and recreational equipment;
  • a comparative analysis, by census tract, of the park and recreational facilities;
  • a determination of surplus or deficiency in the township park and recreation program;
  • special study by commission request on the feasibility of another public swimming pool.

This overall examination is necessary so that future programs and recommended actions can be created and coordinated on a comprehensive basis.

Figure E-1

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MATRIX OF LOWER MERION

TOWNSHIP PUBLIC PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS

 

Tennis Courts Pool Ball-
fields
Basket-
ball
Children's Playground Tot Lot Nature
Areas
Open
Space
1
Ardmore Ave. Playground 
X
X
X
X
X
Ashbridge Memorial Prk
X
X
X
Austin Memorial Park
X
Bala Avenue Playground-Gym
X
X
X
Bala Cynwyd Playground
X
X
X
Bryn Mawr Playground
X
X
X
X
Cynwyd Station
X
Flat Rock Park
X
X
General Wayne Playground
X
X
X
X
X
X
Gully Run Park
X
X
Harriton Park
X
Henry La. Park
X
Kenealy Nature Park
X
McMoran Playground
X
X
X
X
X
Merion Botanical Garden
X
Mill Creek Valley Park
X
Pencoyd Park
X
Penn Wynne Playground
X
X
X
X
X
St. Paul's Tot Lot
X
Shortridge Memorial Park
X
X
Simpson Island
X
Lewis J. Smith Park
X
South Ardmore Playground
X
X
X
West Mill Creek Park
X
Wynnewood Valley Park
X
X
X
X
Polo Park 2
X
X
X
Park Site
X
Gladwyne Playground
X
X
X
X

1 Includes picnic areas
2 Haverford Township joint park

Figure E-2

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MATRIX OF

LOWER MERION PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

Tennis Courts Pool Ball-
Fields
Basket-
ball
Children's Playground Tot Lot Nature
Areas
Open
Space
Ardmore Jr. High
X
X
X
X
Bala School
X
X
Bala Cynwyd Jr. High
X
X
X
X
Belmont Hills School
X
Bryn Mawr School
X
Gladwyne School
X
Harriton High
X
X
X
Lower Merion High
X
X
X
Merion School
X
X
Narberth School
X
Penn Valley
X
X
X
X
Penn Wynne
X
X 1
Welsh Valley Jr. High
X
X
X
Wynnewood Rd. School
X

1 Children's Playground to be constructed in 1978.

2. Standards

During the past several years various studies have been undertaken by all levels of government to determine the most appropriate standards for measuring park and open space needs. Rising incomes, shorter work weeks, greater disposable incomes, and mobility are often cited as factors affecting the demand and use of parks.

As a result, various methods of determining future recreation needs have been developed. Lately, these standards have been expanded to include the quality and types of facilities to be provided, as well as the amount of land. Most standards have been developed on a broad base, and need to be modified for local conditions. Preferences, budgets, availability of sites and other factors all help to determine the standards that are suitable for each locality. The standards are relative guidelines to aid in the planning and site selection process.

Major factors which should be considered in the development of park and recreation standards and the selection of sites and programs are as follows:

  1. Level of population
  2. Age composition
  3. Physical resources and conditions
  4. Availability of usable land
  5. Proper distribution of land
  6. Flexibility of site design
  7. Natural and man made barriers (flood plains, highways, etc.)
  8. School facilities
  9. Time and geographical distance
  10. Transportation patterns
  11. Access to sites
  12. Types of adjacent land uses

Generally there are three approaches to establishing space standards:

  1. Population Method, expressed as acres per 1000 people.
  2. Percentage of Area Method, expressed as a percent of the total developable land to be reserved.
  3. Demand Projections, based on user participation rates.

The population method is the most commonly used guideline, because it is the most easily obtainable when used in conjunction with census data and local or county population projections. The population standard of 10 acres per 1000 people requires, then, that Lower Merion provide 640 acres of parkland. By combining both the township park and playground land of 513.76 acres with the school park area of 184.9 acres, the township then has available a total of 698.66 acres. This figure slightly exceeds the national standard for park acreage.

In the percentage of area method 10% is frequently used as the standard applicable to developable land. If the township applied this figure without regard to county responsibility, 1400 acres of parkland would then be necessary. However, in Camden County , 10% was reallocated on the basis that 7% would become the responsibility of county government and the remaining 3%, the responsibility of the municipality.

In using this method, Lower Merion, with an area of 14,000 acres would need 420 acres of local parks while 980 acres would be assigned to the county. Presently, the township has devoted 513. 76-^ acres to parks, playgrounds and botanical gardens and the schools provide an additional 184.9 acres of play area. By combining the school area with the township area, a total of 698.66 acres results and this figure exceeds the 420 acres standard by 60%. This methodology, however, leaves much to be desired. First, it does not relate to people and density factors. Lastly, it does not indicate the usability and effectiveness of parkland.

The third approach attempts to relate to people and their needs. The efforts to develop a capable system that can set forth standards is slowly progressing through the use of mathematical models but is beyond the scope of this analysis.

Taking these factors into consideration concerning all three approaches, it has been decided to use the population method as a means of establishing recreational demands for Lower Merion Township. The inability to utilize the percentage method is due to.Montgomery County's failure to adopt the proportional areas of responsibility in allocating the parkland between itself and the municipalities.

What does exist for the region, are DVRPC sources in which the national park and recreation acreage standard is modified to reflect the unique regional features illustrated in Figures E-3 and E-4. Accordingly, Lower Merion is situated in ring number 3. This indicated that a total of 6 acres of parks should be provided for every 1000 people. County and. State parks add another 10 acres to this figure. Figure E-5 from the National Park and Recreation Association provides the comparative difference in acreage guidelines.

It should be noted that these standards must remain flexible, and be tailored to the individual locality's characteristics. Smaller acreage in high density areas will receive more use, and therefore gross acres alone cannot be the only means of measuring the fulfillment of needs.

Based on the standards set forth in Figures E-3 and E-4, a set of modified standards has been devised for Lower Merion Township. In addition, the following Figure E-6, enumerates the standards to be used in calculating the types and amounts of special facilities to be provided in the appropriate park classifications.-'- In total, these standards provide the basis for recommending the acreage, location and use of parks in the township as explained later in this section.

Figure E-3

MINIMUM RECREATION AREA STANDARDS BY DENSITY RING
(Acres per 1000 population)

 

 
RINGS
1 2 3 4 5 6
Local
Recreation
Area
Standards
Municipal  
Tot lots - 0.25 0.5 - - -
Neighborhood Ply. - 1.0 1.25 1.5 - -
Neighborhood Parks - 1.0 1.0 1.5 - -
Playfields - 1.0 1.25 1.5 - -
Community Parks - 1.0 2.0 3.0 3.5 3.5
 
 
Total
- 4.25 6.0 7.5 3.5 3.5
 
 
Regional
Recreation
Area
             
County - 4.5 10.0 13.0 16.0 20.0
State - 25 acres per 1000
(region wide)

 

Figure E-4

STANDARDS FOR SPECIAL FACILITIES

 

Facility (Outdoor) Standard/1000 People Comment
Baseball Diamonds 1 per 6,000 Regulation 90'
Softball Diamonds
(and/or youth diamonds)
1 per 3,000  
Tennis Courts 1 per 2,000 (Best in battery
of 4)
Basketball Courts 1 per 500  
Swimming Pools - 25 yard 1 per 10,000 Based on 15 sq. ft.
of water for 3% of
population
Swimming Pools - 50 meter 1 per 20,000  
Skating Rinks (artificial) 1 per 30,000  
Neighborhood Centers 1 per 10,000  
Community Centers 1 per 25,000  
Outdoor Theaters (non-commercial) 1 per 20,000  
Shooting Ranges 1 per 50,000 Complete complex
incl. high power,
small-bore, trap
and skeet, field
archery, etc.
Golf Courses (18 hole) 1 per 25,000  

NOTE: Most of the above mentioned facilities are desirable in small communities, even though their population may actually be less than the standard. Every effort should be made to light all facilities for night use, thus extending their utility.

Figure E-5

RECREATION STANDARDS BY CLASSIFICATION AND POPULATION RATIO

 

Classification
Acres/
1000 People
Size Range
Population Served
  Service Area
 
Playlots
*
2,500 sq. ft.
to 1 acre
500-2,500
  Sub-neighborhood
 
Vest Pocket Parks
*
2,500 sq. ft.
to 1 acre
500-2,500
  Sub-neighborhood
 
Neighborhood Parks
2.5
Min. 5 acres
up to 20 acres
2,000-10,000
  1/4-1/2 mile
 
District Parks
2.5
20-100 acres
10,000-50,000
  1/2-3 miles

* Not Applicable

Source: "National Park Recreation and Open Space Standards", National Recreation and Park Association, June 1971. Partial listing.

 

Figure E-6

RECOMMENDED FACILITY STANDARDS FOR

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

 

NEIGHBORHOOD
FACILITIES

STANDARD PER
1000 PEOPLE
Tennis Courts 1 per 2,000
Baseball-Junior 1 per 3,000
Softball 1 per 3.,000
Basketball Courts 1 per 500
 
OTHER
FACILITIES

 
Swimming Pool 1 per 20,000
Picnic Areas 2 acres per 1000
Community Center 1 per 25,000
Camping 1 camp per 25,000

 

Figure E-7

PARK CLASSIFICATIONS

TOT LOTS - PLAY LOTS

The playlet is a small area intended for children up to 6 or 7 years of age. They range in size from 2,500 square feet up to 1 acre and usually feature play apparatus, a paved area for wheeled toys, benches, sand areas, a small wading or spray pool, and landscape treatment. They should be located within a block or super-block or near the center of a housing development. Children should not be required to cross a major arterial street to reach the playlot.

VEST POCKET - MINI PARKS

There has been great emphasis of late on the vest pocket parks, which are usually vacant lots converted to recreation use. In some instances, such parks may become permanent features in the neighborhood but should be supportive to adequate open space for all needed facilities. Vest pocket parks may serve children only, or all age groups, depending on the needs in the neighborhood. The size and location is determined more by the availability of vacant land than any other factor. Vest pocket parks may feature children's play areas, quiet game areas, landscaping, and some sports activities such as multi-purpose courts, if space allows.

NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS

The neighborhood parks should, if possible, adjoin the public elementary schools, which usually serve about a square mile of urban area and a total population ranging from 2,000 to 10-,000. It is desirable to locate the areas for active recreation such as ball diamonds and play areas toward the interior of the site so the perimeter can be landscaped to buffer sound, provide a greater measure of safety, and prevent glare from night lighting. Operating agencies should give much more consideration to the inclusion of night lighting for outdoor facilities because it greatly extends use and tends to reduce vandalism.

Recreation facilities for adults should be provided in the park portion of the site, in accordance with the desires of the people. Such facilities as sitting areas, shuffleboard, and horeshoe courts should be located in the shade. Tables for games such as chess, checkers, and cards, and perhaps some picnic tables are desirable. The site and the school building should be designed to attract the people of the neighborhood and make it a center for education, recreation, and for cultural activities.

DISTRICT PARKS

The district parks supplement the neighborhood parks in providing the near-at-hand recreation facilities needed by the urban population. These larger sites should, if possible, adjoin the public junior and senior high schools. They also encompass the activities formerly included in the "playfield." While the neighborhood sites should be designed to attract and serve the entire neighborhood populations, there are certain recreation facilities needed which require more space than the neighborhood sites should accommodate. Thus, the need for the district park. Other facilities may include a tennis complex, swimming pool, multi-purpose courts, community center, and adequate off-street parking. Parks of this type are best located on or near thoroughfares, easily accessible and distributed so they are within about one to three miles of each home. The increased mobility of teenagers who heavily utilize the district parks tend to widen the radius of the service area.

Source: The above descriptions adopted from "National Park Recreation and Open Space Standards," National Recreation and Park Association, June 1971.

Figure E-8

RECOMMENDED RECREATION AREA

STANDARDS FOR LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

 

FACILITY
ACRES PER
1000 PEOPLE
SIZE STANDARD
Tot Lot
-
2500 sq. ft.
to 1 acre
1 per 500-2500
people (1500 average)
Mini Park
-
2500 sq. ft.
to 1 acre
1 per 500-2500
people (1500 average)
Neighborhood Park
4.5
5-20 acres 1 per 2000-10,000
people
District
Park
3.0
20-100 acres 1 per 10,000-50,000
people

3. Inventory and Analysis

Park and Recreation sites, including the private clubs, are identified in Figure E-9 and Map E-10. The inventory count does include the school facilities although they are not under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

The National Recreation and Park Association also points out the existence of recreational facilities on school grounds in many instances and notes that it is good planning to combine facilities at school locations. In Lower Merion, the township and the school district have cooperated in the past on such matters, and the relationship should continue for the benefit of all citizens.

Based on the park and recreation standards enumerated in the prior pages, and on the stability in population levels, a surplus or deficiency of land has been calculated for each neighborhood. Figure E-ll uses the national standard for comparison information only. The following Figure E-12 utilizes the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) recommendations.

 

Figure E-9

PARK AND PLAYGROUNDS

IN LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

 

MAP
INDEX
CODE
#
PUBLIC
 
D3 P1 Shortridge Park
B4 P2 South Ardmore Park
B2 P3 Wynnewood Valley Park
Cl P4 Penn Wynne Park
El P5 Merlon Botanical Garden
Gl P6 Bala Gym and Playground
H2 P7 Bala Cynwyd Park
F4 P8 General Wayne
G4 P9,10 Gully Run Park
G4 P11 Lewis J. Smith Park
G4 P12 McMoran Park
H5 P13 Pencoyd Park
G8 P14 Mill Creek Park
E7 P15 West Mill Creek Park
B6 P16 Ardmore Avenue Playground
A9 P17 Bryn Mawr Playground
A10 P18 Austin Park
All P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park
E8 P20 Gladwyne Park
Gil P21 Kennealy Park
E10 P22 Henry Lane Park
H8 P22A Flat Rock Park
Gil P23 Simpson Island
CIO P24 Harriton Park
B5 P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot
G2 P26 Cynwyd Station
A8 P27 Polo Park
 
    PRIVATE
 
G2 PR1 Cynwyd Club
E6 PR2 The Courts
B6 PR3 Philadelphia Skating Club
B7 PR4 Merion Cricket Club
F12 PR5 Philadelphia Country Club
G11 PR6 The Stoney Lane Club
G13 PR7 Riverbend, Environmental Education Center
F11 PR8 Henry Botanical Foundation
 
    SCHOOLS
 
C5 S1 Lower Merion High and Ardmore Junior High
C5 S2 Field For High School
E3 S3 Merion Public School
B4 S4 Wynnewood Road School
B2 S5 Penn Wynne School
F2 S6 Bala School
G3 S7 Bala Cynwyd Junior High
G3 S8 Cynwyd School
G3 S9 Field
H4 S10 Belmont Hills Elementary
F6 S11 Penn Valley Elementary
G6 S12 Welsh Valley Junior High
A9 S13 Bryn Mawr School
C12 S14 Harriton High School
E8 S15 Gladwyne Elementary
E4 S16 Narberth School

 

Figure E-11

NATIONAL ACREAGE STANDARDS

FOR LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP BY CENSUS TRACT

 

CENSUS
TRACT #
ACREAGE
STANDARD
PUBLIC PARK1
ACREAGE
SURPLUS/
DEFICIT
PUBLIC & SCHOOL
PARK ACREAGE
NET SURPLUS/ DEFICIT
2043
23.55
2.38
-21.17
2.45
-21.10
2044
41.28
8.80
-32.48
8.80
-32.48
2045
56.86
10.18
-46.68
16.43
-40.43
2046
52.68
23.28
-29.40
46.08
- 6.6
2047
66.50
173.07
+106.57
206.32
+139.82
2048
50.29
118.80
+ 68.51
128.30
+ 78.01
2049
39.67
44.87
+ 5.20
76.87
+ 37.20
2050
33.79
.77
- 33.02
4.88
- 28.91
2051
23.58
8.00
- 15.58
8.00
- 15.58
2052
28.80
9.00
- 19.80
9.00
- 19.80
2053
19.27
5.22
- 14.05
5.22
- 14.05
2054
57.02
12.79
- 44.23
42.79
- 14.25
2055.01
44.51
.39
- 44.12
.39
-44.12
2055.02
35.74
29.12
- 6.62
33.37
- 2.37
2055.03
60.38
10.22
- 50.16
14.72
- 45.66

 
633.92
456.89
-177.03
603.602
- 30.32

1Excludes: Faust Property (3.89 acres) undeveloped park site Simpson Island (2.04 acres) wildlife preserve

2Includes Narberth School and Green Hills Site, and Rosemont Site

 

Figure E-12

DVRPC STANDARDS FOR LOWER

MERION TOWNSHIP BY CENSUS TRACT

 

CENSUS
TRACT #
ACREAGE
STANDARD
PUBLIC PARK1
ACREAGE
SURPLUS/
DEFICIT
PUBLIC & SCHOOL2
PARK ACREAGE
NET SURPLUS/
DEFICIT
2043
14.13
2.38
- 11.75
2.45
- 11.68
2044
24.76
8.80
- 15.96
8.80
- 15.96
2045
34.08
10.18
- 23.90
16.43
- 17.65
2046
31.60
23.28
- 8.32
46.08
+ 14.48
2047
39.90
173.07
+133.17
206.32
+166.42
2048
30.18
118.80
+ 88.62
128.30
+ 98.12
2049
23.80
44.87
+ 21.07
76.87
+ 53.07
2050
20.27
.77
- 19.50
4.88
- 15.39
2051
14.14
8.00
- 6.14
12.20
- 1.94
2052
17.28
9.00
- 8.28
9.00
- 8.28
2053
11.56
5.22
- 6.34
5.22
- 6.34
2054
34.21
12.79
- 21.42
42.79
+ 8.58
2055.01
26.70
.39
- 26.31
.39
- 26.31
2055.02
21.44
29.12
+ 7.68
33.37
+ 11.93
2055.03
36.22
10.22
- 26.00
14.72
- 21.50

 
380.27
456.89
+76.62
607.82
+227 .55

1Excludes: Faust Property (3.89 acres), Simpson Island (2.04 acres)

2Includes Narberth School, Green Hills Site and Rosemont Site

The prior analysis first subtracts township acres from the standard to account for a surplus or deficiency. Then the school recreation acreage was added to the township acreage and compared with the standard. The result was a net surplus or deficiency of acreage existing in the township. This accounting shows that all of the deficient acreage tracts occurred in the southern part of the township. Moreover, the census tracts with deficiencies contain 47.7% of the township population.

There is a specific reason why shortages appear in certain census tracts. An inspection of the census tract reveals that many park facilities are located on census tract boundaries. What first appears to be an absolute shortage in acreage is really a relative one due to the arbitrary drawing of census tract lines. By assuming that all parks located up to one-half miles from a census tract line is within residential walking distance, then such adjacent sites can be added onto (double counted) the inventory of abutting census tracts. This reduces the deficits derived from the first set of calculations. The original calculations with alterations are presented in Figure E-13. Although the total township acreage held for parks, playgrounds, and gardens does exceed all standards by 227 acresl, there still remains a spatial imbalance as to which neighborhoods enjoy a more equitable distribution of facilities.

 

Figure E-13

DEFICIT CENSUS TRACTS WITH AVAILABLE

ACREAGE (LESS THAN ONE-HALF MILES)

 

CENSUS
TRACT #
NET DEFICIT
ADJACENT ACRES
NET SURPLUS
NET
DEFICIT
2043
11.68
2.00
9.68
2044
15.96
15.83
.13
2045
17.65
12.41
5.24
2050
15.39
41.87
26.48
2051
1.94
4.88
2.94
2052
8.28
8.00
.28
2053
6.34
.39
5.95
2055.0
26.31
23.40
2.91
2055.03
21.50
10.94
10.56

TOTAL
125.05
120.35
29.42
34.12
 
 
NET DEFICIT 4.70
 

4. Census Tract Analysis

The following information identifies by census tract all parks and playgrounds available to the residents of Lower Merion Township. Additionally, where deficits exist, facilities located .5 miles or less from the census tract will be included in the analysis. Furthermore, many ballfields can support multiple athletic activities such as soccer, football or baseball. In such instances, some fields may be double counted. Lastly, the population figure for 1990 is calculated on a conservative growth figure of only 0.5%.

CENSUS TRACT 2043

A. Population

1970
2,355
1990
2,472
Increase
117

B. Existing Acreage

 

P6 Bala Gym & Playground
2.38
S6 Bala School
0.07
Total
2.45
P26 Cynwyd Station (tract 2044)
2.00
Total
4.45

C. Existing Facilities

P6 Bala Gym & Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 3 sliding boards,. 5 single mazes, 1 seesaw. Recreation - 2 tennis courts, 1 basketball court, 1 comfort station.

S6 Bala School - Playground; 4 jungle mazes, and play area. Recreation - 1 basketball court.

P26 Cynwyd Station (tract 2044) - Nature Area.

 

Summary;  
Swing sets 2
Sliding Board 3
Jungle Maze 5
See-Saw 1
Tennis Courts 2
Basketball 1

D. Existing Conditions

P6 Bala Gym & Playground - Flat, bark chips, equipped with wooden mazes. Gym contains basketball court. Has all weather tennis courts.

S6 Bala School - Paved flat play area.

P26 Cynwyd Station - Passive open area.

E. Surplus or Deficiency per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required - 6 per 1000 people
14.13
Acres existing
4.38
Deficit
9.75

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Playground
1
1
--
--
Tot Lot
1
1
--
--
Tennis Courts
2
2
--
--
Ballfields
2
-
--
2
Basketball
5
5
--
3

F. Comments

    1. At present, this tract contains 3% of the township population and 63% are 25 years and older.
    2. This is one of the oldest developed areas of the township, with a correspondingly aged housing inventory. Moreover, 53% of the housing is multi-family units which houses mostly elderly or childfree families.
    3. In 1970, the percentage of children under five years of age at 6% was slightly higher than the mean of 5.3%, but in absolute numbers there were no other tracts with less children.
    4. In 1970, with 63% of the age composition greater than 25, it was slightly higher than the mean of 61.6%.
    5. Because of the housing type and age composition, the tract will probably experience a significant increase in elderly residents in the future.
    6. The concentration of housing is bounded between Old Lancaster Avenue, Highland Avenue, Belmont Avenue and City Line Avenue. However, this represents only about 50% of the total tract acreage. The remaining land use is commercial and industrial, or devoted to highway facilities.

CENSUS TRACT 2044

A. Population

1970
4128
1990
4334
Increase
206

B. Existing Acreage

 

P7 Bala Cynwyd Park
6.80
P26 Cynwyd Station
2.00
Total
8.80
S7,S8 Bala Cynwyd Jr. High
(tracts 2043,2046)
12.75
S6 Bala School (tracts 2043, 2046)
.07
P6 Bala Gym & Playground
(tracts 2043, 2046)
2.38
Total
24.00

C. Existing Facilities

P7 Bala Cynwyd Park - Playground; 2 swing sets, 3 sliding boards, 5 jungle mazes, 1 see-saw, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 1 basketball court, 2 tennis courts.

P26 Cynwyd Station - Nature Area.

S7, 58 Bala Cynwyd Jr. High - Playground; 1 Tot land, 5 jungle mazes. Recreation - 3 tennis courts, 1 ballfield, 8 basketball courts, 1 football.

S6 Bala School - Playground; 1 tot land, 4 jungle mazes. Recreation - 1 basketball court.

P6 Bala Gym & Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 3 sliding boards, 5 jungle mazes, 1 see-saw, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 2 tennis courts, 1 basketball court.

 

Summary;  
Tot Lots 2
Ballfields 1
Football 1
Basketball 11
Tennis Courts 7
Playlots 4

D. Existing Conditions

P7 Bala Cynwyd Park - Flat area, landscaped open space with paved playground.

P26 Cynwyd Station - Nature area.

S7, 58 Bala Cynwyd Junior High - Paved area, large playing fields with one diamond. Basketball courts located in gyms. All-weather tennis courts, play lots with assorted equipment.

S6 Bala School - Paved play area.

P6 Bala Gym & Playground - Flat, mulched play area with wooden mazes, gym contains basketball court, all-weather tennis courts.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required - 6 per 1000 people
24.76
Acres existing
21.55
Deficit
3.21

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot lots
2
2
--
--
Tennis Courts
2
7
5
--
Ballfields
1
1
--
--
Football
1
1
--
--
Basketball
8
11
3
--
Play Lots
2
4
2
--

F. Comments

    1. Six percent (6%) of the township population inhabits this census tract and a large population of the census tract is unavailable for development.
    2. The age composition has 59% of the population over 25 years in age and 8% is under 5 years of age. This tract contains the largest under 5 age group, as a percent of the census tract population, in the township.
    3. The housing mix is still relatively high with 34% composed of multi-family units and 83% thirty years and older.
    4. Because of the housing mix and age composition, the area may witness an increase in elderly during the next decade.

CENSUS TRACT 2045

A. Population

1970
5686
1990
5970
Increase
284

B. Existing Acreage

 

P5 Merion Botanical Garden
10.18
S3 Merion School
6.25
Total
16.43
S6 Bala School
.70
P1 Shortridge Park
12.34
Total
29.47

C. Existing Facilities

P5 Merion Botanical Garden - Landscaped open space.

S3 Merion School - Playground; 1 jungle maze with paved play area.

S6 Bala School - Playground; 4 jungle mazes, playarea. Recreation - 1 basketball court.

P1 Shortridge Park - Picnic area and nature park.

 

Summary;  
Playlot 1
Basketball 1
Picnic Area 1
Open Space 1

D. Existing Conditions

P5 Merion Botanical Garden - Flat, landscaped open space.

S3 Merion School - Paved playarea with jungle mazes.

S6 Bala School - Mulched play area with wooden mazes. Gym has 1 basketball court.

P1 Shortridge Park - Cleared area for .picnic tables and 1 fireplace. Adjacent to natural wooded area.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

 

Acres required - 6 per 1000 people
34.11
Acres existing
29.47
Deficit
4.64

2. Facilities

 

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
3
-
-
3
Playlots
3
1
-
2
Baseball
1
-
-
1
Football
1
-
-
1
Basketball
11
1
-
10
Tennis Courts
3
-
-
3

F. Comments

    1. Nine percent of the township population inhabits this census tract which contains a moderate amount of multi-family dwelling units.
    2. The age composition is on par with the other tracts; 57% compose the 25 and higher age bracket while 6% are under 5 years of age.
    3. The housing stock is aged. In fact, 94% was built prior to 1950. However, 21% of the stock is in multi-family use.
    4. Even when including the adjacent park and playground acreage, the census tract falls short of the standard by 5.31 acres. Moreover, most of the land is not for active recreational use but is held for open space.
    5. The facilities border on inadequacy. Very little active playground or recreational facilities exist within walking distance of the residents.

CENSUS TRACT 2046

A. Population

1970
5268
1990
5531
Increase
263

B. Existing Acreage

 

P9 Gully Run
3.69
P8 General Wayne Park
10.00
P15 West Mill Creek Park
9.59
S7,9 Bala Cynwyd Jr. High & Fld.
12.75
Sll Penn Valley School
10.05
Total
46.08

Additional open space acreages is available from Mill Creek Park, Gully Run, and facilities from Narberth School.

C. Existing Facilities

P9 Gully Run - Nature area with 1 fireplace and picnic tables.

P8 General Wayne Park - Playground; 2 swing sets, 1 sliding board, 3 jungle mazes, 2 shuffleboard, 1 tot lot, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 3 tennis courts, 2 ballfields, 1 basketball court, 1 football field.

P15 West Mill Creek - Nature area.

S7,9 Bala Cynwyd Jr. High & Field - Playground; 5 jungle mazes, 1 tot lot. Recreation: 3 tennis courts,! ballfield, 1 football, 8 basketball courts.

Sll Penn Valley School - Playground; 3 jungle mazes, 2 swing sets, 1 see-saw, 1 tot lot. Recreation: 1 basketball court.

 

Summary:  
Tot lot 2
Playlot 3
Tennis 6
Basketball 10
Football 2
BaseBall 3
Picnic Area 1
Nature Area 2

D. Existing Conditions

P9 Gully Run - Steep slopes with cleared grass area, picnicking.

P8 General Wayne Park - Broad clean green area. Tot lot separated from children's playlot. Football field conversion for soccer.

P15 West Mill Creek - Nature Area, steep slopes, wooded.

S7,9 Bala Cynwyd Jr. High - Grassy ballfields with paved playlots. 2 gyms provide indoor basketball.

Sll Penn Valley School - Paved playgrounds with fenced in tot lot.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

 

Acres required - 6.0 per 1000 people
31.60
Acres existing
46.08
Surplus
14.48

2. Facilities

 

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot lots
2
2
-
-
Playlots
2
3
1
-
Tennis courts
2
6
1
-
Football
1
2
1
-
Baseball
1
3
2
-
Basketball
10
10
-
-

F. Comments

    1. The population in the tract makes up 8% of the total township. However, because multi-family units are limited, the potential for more children does exist.
    2. The age composition remains relatively proportional to the township characteristics, with 59% over 25 years of age and 5% under 5 years of age.
    3. The housing stock is quite old, with 93% built prior to 1950. However, only 1.5% of the stock is multi-family, while the remaining units are single family detached homes.
    4. The tract slightly exceeds the standard acreage allotment, It should be pointed out that less than .5 miles away lies an extensive amount of open space (census tract 2047).
    5. The facilities provided meet or exceed all national standards.

CENSUS TRACT 2047

A. Population

1970
6650
1990
6982
Increase
332

B. Existing Acreage

 

P10 Gully Run Park
3.0
Pll Lewis J. Smith Park
7.22
P12 McMoran Park
11.50
P13 Pencoyd Park
57.82
P14 Mill Creek Valley
88.54
P22A Flat Rock Park
15.29
Sll Welsh Valley Jr. High
20.00
S10 Belmont Hills School
2.95
 
206.32

Additional acreage is available from Gully Run, Bala Cynwyd Junior High, Lower Merion Field and Cynwyd School if necessary.

C. Existing Facilities

P10 Gully Run Park - Nature area with fireplace, 4 benches, limited parking.

Pll Lewis J. Smith Park - Outdoor Pool, large grassy open area, street hockey rink.

P12 McMoran Park - Playground; 4 swing sets, 3 sliding boards, 1 jungle maze, 2 shuffleboard, 1 fireplace and 4 benches, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 3 tennis courts, 2 ballfields, 1 basketball and 1 football field.

P13 Pencoyd Park - Nature area.

P14 Mill Creek Valley Park - Nature area.

P22A Flat Rock Park - Picnic tables, nature area. 1 comfort station , boat ramp.

S11 Welsh Valley Junior High - Recreation; 6 tennis courts, 1 ballfield, 8 basketball, 1 football field,

S10 Belmont Hills School - Playground; 1 jungle maze.

 

Summary:  
Playlot 2
Baseball 3
Basketball 9
Football 2
Tennis 9
Picnic Area 2
Nature Area 4
Pool 1

D. Existing Conditions

P10 Gully Run Park - Steep slopes, one small grassy knoll for picnicing.

Pll Lewis J. Smith Park - Large grassy open space with outdoor pool.

PI2 McMoran Park - Located adjacent to Smith Park, paved playground area with flat ballfield areas.

P13 Pencoyd Park - Steep slopes, wooded nature area, limited parking.

P14 Mill Creek Valley Park - Picturesque wooded valley area with flowing stream, limited parking.

P22A Flat Rock Park - Landscaped open space, some nature area with picnic tables available. Parking is adequate but access roads are limited.

Sll Welsh Valley Jr. High - 1 gym for basketball. Ballfields are clear and flat.

S10 Belmont Hills School - Paved playground.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

 

Acres required
39.90
Acres existing
203.37
Surplus
163.47

2. Facilities

 

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
3
-
-
3
Playlots
4
2
-
2
Tennis
3
9
6
-
Football
1
2
1
-
Basketball
13
9
-
4
Baseball
1
3
2
-

F. Comments

    1. The tract serves a diverse population that constitutes 10% of the township. The tract encompasses the Belmont Hills community, the Pencoyd community and parts of Merion. Once again, it should be noted that a census tract boundary is convenient for obtaining statistical data but doesn't always reflect the logical pattern of facilities.
    2. The age composition of the tract is proportional to the township with 58% 25 year's and older and 7%, 5 years and younger.
    3. About 32% of the housing is multi-family units and the housing stock age is the youngest in the township, with only 60% 30 years and older.
    4. The acreage standards far exceed the DVRPC or evn National standards, however, the predominant acreage is in nature areas which is somewhat inaccessible due to limited parking.
    5. Because nature areas dominate the available open space, recreation facilities do show some deficiencies. There are no tot lots and even children's playlots are deficient. The large athletic fields do exceed the standards and could provide the necessary space for playgrounds.

CENSUS TRACT 2048

A. Population

1970
5029
1990
5280
Increase
251

B. Existing Acreage

 

P20 Gladwyne Park
13.10
P21 Kennealy Park
87.00
P22 Henry Lane Park
18.70
S15 Gladwyne School
9.5
 
Total
128.30

Additional acreage from Mill Creek Valley Park and West Mill Creek Park is available.

C. Existing Facilities

P20 Gladwyne Park - Playground; 2 swing sets, 2 sliding boards, 1 jungle maze, 1 see-saw, 2 shuffleboard, 1 tot lot, 4 picnic tables, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 4 clay tennis courts, 1 basketball court.

P21 Kennealy Park - Nature area with bridle path.

P22 Henry Lane Park - Nature area with bridle path.

S515 Gladwyne School - Playground; 1 tot lot,

 

Summary:  
Tot lot 2
Playlot 1
Tennis 4
Basketball 1
Picnic Area 1
Nature Area 2
Bridle Paths 2

D. Existing Conditions

P20 Gladwyne Park - Flat, paved with playgrounds. Small grassy area for picnics, (adjacent to school)

P21 Kennealy Park - Nature area, steep slopes mixed with valleys. Bridle path, wooded with limited parking.

P22 Henry Lane Park - Nature area with bridle path. Limited access with no parking.

SIS Gladwyne School - Small paved playarea with tot lot.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

 

Acres required
50.29
Acres Existing
128.30
Surplus
78.01

2. Facilities

 

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
2
2
-
-
Playlots
2
1
1
-
Tennis
2
4
2
-
Basketball
10
1
-
9
Football
1
-
-
1
Baseball
1
-
-
1

F. Comments

    1. The census tract comprises the community of Gladwyne which makes up 8% of the township population.
    2. The age composition is proportional to the township with 54% 25 years and up while 6% is 5 years and younger.
    3. The housing stock is predominantly single family detached homes (97.4%) with 74% of the homes 30 years old or more.
    4. The acreage is far in excess of the standards. However, the emphasis is on wooded nature areas rather than physical facilities. Also parking is limited and access to the nature parks in inadequate. For example, Simpson Island is a wild life sanctuary with no access.
    5. The facilities show a deficiency in large open fields where football, soccer or baseball can be played. Additionally, their is a shortage in basketball courts.

CENSUS TRACT 2049

A. Population

1970
3967
1990
4165
Increase
198

B. Existing Acreage

 

P18 Austin Memorial Park
3.00
P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park
28.81
P24 Harriton Park
13.06
S14 Harriton High School
32.00
  Total
76.87

C. Existing Facilities

P18 Austin Memorial Park - Nature area.

P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park - Playground; 1 tot lot. Recreation - 2 tennis courts.

P24 Harriton Park - Nature area.

S14 Harriton High School - Recreation - 8 tennis courts, 1 ballfield, 1 football field, 8 basketball courts.

 

Summary:
Tot lot
1
Tennis
10
Football
1
Baseball
1
Basketball
8

D. Existing Conditions

P18 Austin Memorial Park - Nature area, wooded limited parking.

P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park - Large parcel of flat open space. Play area is paved,with adequate parking.

P24 Harriton Park - Nature area, relatively flat.

S14 Harriton High School - 2 gyms with flat grassy areas for ballgames; all weather tennis courts.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

 

Acres required
23.80
Acres existing
76.87
Surplus
53.07

2. Facilities

 

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
2
1
-
1
Playlots
2
-
-
2
Tennis
2
10
8
-
Basketball
8
8
-
-
Football
1
1
-
-
Baseball
1
1
-
-

F. Comments

    1. This census tract comprises 6% of the township population living in single family detached units (95%) .
    2. The age composition is proportional to the township with 61% 25 years and older and 4% 5 years old and younger.
    3. The age of the housing stock is comparable to the area with 79% 30 years and up and only 5% of the units are multi-family.
    4. The acreage exceeds the standards set forth by DVRPC but the potential to develop more parkland is high due to the purchase of excess land by the School District,
    5. The facilities are adequate with an abundance of all weather tennis courts but there exists a slight deficiency in children's playgrounds.

CENSUS TRACT 2050

A. Population

1970
3379
1990
3548
Increase
169

B. Existing Acreage

 

P17 Bryn Mawr Playground
4.88
 
Tract Total
4.88
P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park
28.81
P24 Harriton Park
13.06
 
Total
46.75

C. Existing Facilities

P17 Bryn Mawr Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 1 see-saw, 2 shuffleboard, 1 tot lot,
Recreation - 1 basketball court, 1 volley ball court, 2 tennis courts (Comm. Bldg. & indoor facilities)

P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park - Playground; 1 tot lot. Recreation - 2 tennis courts.

P24 Harriton Park - Nature area.

Summary:  
Tot lot 2
Playlot 1
Basketball 1
Tennis 4
Shuffleboard 2
Comfort Station 1

D. Existing Conditions

PI7 Bryn Mawr Playground - Flat paved playground.

P19 Ashbridge Memorial Park - Large open space with paved recreation area.

P24 Harriton Park - Nature area wooded, relatively flat.

E. Surplus Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
20.27
Acres existing
46.75
Surplus
26.48

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
1
2
1
-
Playlots
1
1
-
-
Tennis
1
4
3
-
Basketball
6
1
-
5
Football
1
-
-
1
Baseball
1
-
-
1

F. Comments

    1. The census tract contains 5% of the population in Lower Merion Township. The age composition is proportional to the township with 60% 25 years and older but only 3% are 5 years or younger.
    2. The housing stock is relatively old with 82% 30 years old or greater. Moreover, 64% of the stock is multi-family units. With such a disproportionate amount of the housing stock made up of multi-family units, the population demographics also contain a disproportionate number of child free couples and elderly. Thus, the number of children should be minimal.
    3. The acreage, when including the adjacent census tract, exceeds the standards.
    4. The playground type of facilities are adequate, however, large open fields for various ballgames are limited. Also, the number of basketball courts are inadequate.

CENSUS TRACT 2051

A. Population

1970
2358
1990
2476
Increase
118

B. Existing Acreage

 

P28 Polo Park (½)
8.00
S13 Bryn Mawr School
4.20
 
Total
12.20
P17 Bryn Mawr Playground
4.88
 
Total
17.08

Additional acreage is provided by the adjacent Bryn Mawr Playground.

C. Existing Facilities

P28 Polo Park - Playground; 4 swing sets, 2 sliding boards, 1 jungle maze, 1 see-saw.
Recreation - 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts, 2 tennis courts. SI 3 Bryn Mawr School - Playground; 1 jungle maze.

P17 Bryn Mawr Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 1 see-saw, 1 tot lot
Recreation- 1 basketball court, 1 volley ball court, 2 tennis courts (Comm. Bldg. and indoor facility).

Summary:  
Tot lot 1
Playlot 2
Basketball 3
Baseball 2
Tennis 4

D. Existing Conditions

P28 Polo Park - Large flat grassy area for ball-games, paved playground.

S13 Bryn Mawr School - Paved play area.

P17 Bryn Mawr Playground - Flat, paved playground,

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standard

1. Acres

Acres required
14.14
Acres existing
17.08
Surplus
2.94

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
1
1
-
-
Playlots
1
2
1
-
Tennis
1
4
3
-
Basketball
4
3
-
1
Baseball
1
2
1
-
Football
1
-
-
-

F. Comment

    1. This census tract contains only 4% of the township population. The age composition shows that 63% of the people are over 26 years of age and 4% are below 5 years old.
    2. The housing stock breakdown shows that 54% of the stock is multi-family. Additionally, 87% of it is 30 years old or more in age.
    3. The demographic affect of the housing type usually means a large amount of elderly or child-free couples can be expected.
    4. The acreage for facilities is adequate. If Bryn Mawr Playground is joined into the tract, the acreage becomes excessive.
    5. There are no real deficiencies concerning the facilities as long as Bryn Mawr is placed into the census tract.
    6. There are no large nature areas in this tract due to its level of commercial and residential development.

CENSUS TRACT 2052

A. Population

1970
2880
1990
924
Increase
3024

B. Existing Acreage

P28 Polo Park - 9 acres

No additional acreage exists in any adjacent track that meets the prerequisite of .5 miles.

C. Existing Facilities

P28 Polo Park - Playground; 4 swing sets, 2 sliding boards, 1 jungle maze, 1 see-saw.
Recreation - 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts, 2 tennis courts.

Summary:  
Playlot 1
Baseball 2
Basketball 2

D. Existing Conditions

P28 Polo Park - Large flat grassy area with a paved playground.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standard

6 acres per 1000 people

1. Acres

Acres required
17.28
Acres existing
9.00
Surplus
8.28

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
1
1
-
-
Playlots
1
2
1
-
Tennis
1
4
3
-
Basketball
4
3
-
1
Baseball
1
2
1
-
Football
1
-
-
-

Ballfields can be used for football.

F. Comments

    1. The census tract embodies 5% of the township population. The percentage of people over 25 years of age is higher than the average at 70%. Accordingly, those under 5 years of age make up only 3% of the population.
    2. The housing stock is very old with 90% of the structures 30 years old or more in age. The mix is evenly split between multi-family units and single family homes.
    3. The acreage falls short of the standards. In fact, within this census tract, there are no identified facilities or acreage for parks and- recreation.
    4. Polo Park in Haverford Township is the only facility acceptable for the tract. Half of the acreage was accounted for by census tract 2051, therefore the remaining acreage is shown with the assigned acres from tract 2051.
    5. The facilities lack the major playground items such as a tot lot and basketball courts. More importantly, due to the population demographics, a need for landscaped open space would better serve the community.

CENSUS TRACT 2053

A. Population

1970
1927
1990
2023
Increase
96

B. Existing Acreage

 

P16 Ardmore Ave. Playground
5.22
P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot
.39
  Total
5.61

C. Existing Facilities

P16 Ardmore Ave. Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 1 sliding board, 2 jungle mazes, 1 see-saw, 2 shuffleboard, 1 comfort station.
Recreation -2 tennis courts, 1 pool, 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts/ and Community Center building.

P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot - 1 tot lot.

 

Summary:  
Tot Lot 1
Playlot 1
Football 1
Baseball 2
Shuffleboard 2
Basketball 2
Pool 1
Comfort St. 1

D. Existing Conditions

P16 Ardmore Avenue Playground - Partially fenced with paved playground area. Fields are flat and grass covered. Courts are night lighted.

P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot - Unpaved tot lot.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
11.56
Acres existing
5.61
Deficit
5.95

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lots
1
1
-
-
Playlots
1
1
-
-
Tennis
1
-
-
1
Basketball
4
2
-
2
Football
1
1
-
-
Baseball
1
2
1
-

F. Comments

    1. This census tract holds the smallest number of people in the township which is 3%. The age composition is proportional to the township with 61% over 25 years of age and 6% 5 years old or younger.
    2. The housing mix is about equally split between multi-family units (48%) and single family units (52%). 87% of the stock is 30 years or older.
    3. Acreage standards are not met in the census tract. Although only 5.95 acres short, the additional acreage could supply additional facilities for the Ardmore community.
    4. The facilities appear to be adequate although the tract is short some basketball courts.

CENSUS TRACT 2054

A. Population

1970
5702
1990
5987
Increase
285

B. Existing Acreage

 

P1 Shortridge Park
12.34
P27 Park Site
.45
Sl,S2 Lower Merion High School & Field
30.00
 
Total
42.79

C. Existing Facilities

P1 Shortridge Park - Nature Area, 2 fireplaces, picnic tables.

P27 Park Site - Open space.

SI, S2 Lower Merion High School & Field - Recreation - 4 tennis courts, 1 pool, 2 ballfields, 16 basketball courts, 2 football fields.

Summary:  
Tennis 4
Basketball 16
Football 2
Baseball 2
Pool 1
Picnic Area 2

D. Existing Conditions

P1 Shortridge Park - Nature area with open space for picnicing.

P27 Park Site - Vacant area.

S1,S2 Lower Merion High School & Field - 4 gyms with an indoor pool. Large flat grass fields with parking.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
34.21
Acres existing
42.79
Surplus
8.98

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lot
3
1*
-
2
Playlot
3
1*
-
2
Tennis
3
4
1
-
Basketball
12
16
4
-
Football
1
2
1
-
Baseball
1
2
1
-

*Obtainable from Narberth School

F. Comments

    1. This census tract including census tract 2047, is the most heavily populated, comprising 10% of the township population.
    2. The age composition is also marked by the largest percent of its inhabitants, 70%, being 25 years old and up. However, the 5 year and under population is 4% of the tract population.
    3. The housing mix is proportionally divided between single family units (51%) and multi-family units (49%).
    4. There is a slight surplus of acreage in the tract. Moreover, there are two distinct sites, one a natural area while the other is comprised of recreational facilities.
    5. The facilities within the tract are supplied by the school district. There is a definite shortage of playlots for younger children. This shortage persists even when the Narberth School facility is added to the inventory.

CENSUS TRACT 2055.01

A. Population

1970
4451
1990
4673
Increase
222

B. Existing Acreage

 

P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot
.39
P16 Ardmore Ave. Playground
5.22
P2 South Ardmore Park
18.18
S4 Wynnewood School
4.25
 
Total
28.04

C. Existing Facilities

P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot - Playground; 1 tot lot

P16 Ardmore Ave. Playground - Playground; 2 swing sets, 1 sliding board, 2 jungle mazes, 1 see-saw, 2 shuffleboard, 1 comfort station.
Recreation -2 tennis courts, 1 pool, 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts.

P2 South Ardmore Park - Playground; 8 swing sets, 2 sliding boards, 2 jungle mazes, 2 see-saws, 2 shuffleboards, 1 comfort station.
Recreation -6 clay tennis courts, 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts, 1 football field.

S4 Wynnewood School - 1 soccer field

Summary:  
Tot Lot 1
Playlot 3
Basketball 4
Tennis 8
Baseball/Football 5
Shuffleboard 2
Comfort Station 1
Soccer Field 1

D. Existing Conditions

P25 St. Paul's Tot Lot - Small flat paved tot lot.

P16 Ardmore Ave - Playground - Partially fenced with paved playground. Broad grassy fields.'

P2 South Ardmore Ave Playground - Open space mingled with ballfields.Play areas and paved basketball courts.

S4 Wynnewood School - Green Soccer field.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
26.70
Acres existing
28.04
Surplus
1.34

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lot
2
1
1
-
Playlot
2
3
1
-
Tennis
2
8
6
-
Basketball
10
4
-
6
Baseball
1
4
3
-
Football
1
1
-
-

(soccer field at Wynnewood School)

F. Comments

    1. The population of the census tract comprises 8% of the township population. In addition, 64% of these inhabitants are over 25 years old while 6% are 5 years of age or less.
    2. The housing mix is proportionately divided between single family (54%) and multi-family (46%) units. The housing age is quite old with 92% of the stock at least 30 years old.
    3. The park or recreation acreage in the tract is negligible (.39 acres) but with the addition of the adjacent tract land, it slightly exceeds the standard.
    4. The facilities are in excess of the standards. Of course, basketball is short by 6 courts where tennis is in excess by the same amount.

CENSUS TRACT 2055.02

A. Population

1970
3574
1990
3753
Increase
179

B. Existing Acreage

 

P2 South Ardmore Park
18.18
P3 Wynnewood Valley Park
10.94
S4 Wynnewood School
4.25
 
Total
33.37

C. Existing Facilities

P2 South Ardmore Park - Playground; 8 swing sets, 2 sliding boards, 2 jungle mazes, 2 see-saws, 2 shuffleboards, 1 comfort station. Recreation - 6 clay tennis courts, 2 ballfields, 2 basketball courts, 1 football field.

P3 Wynnewood Valley Park - Playground; 4 swing sets, 3 fireplaces and 12 picnic tables. Recreation - 2 tennis courts, 1 basketball court.

S4 Wynnewood School - Recreation - 1 soccer field.

 

Summary:  
Playlot 2
Tennis 8
Basketball 3
Football 1
Baseball 2
Comfort Station 1

D. Existing Conditions

P2 South Ardmore Park - Open space blended with ballfields. Playarea and paved basketball courts,

P3 Wynnewood Valley Park - Open space with picnic area. Paved playground, clay tennis courts.

S4 Wynnewood School - Grassy soccer field.

E. Surplus or Deficiency Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
21.44
Acres existing
33.32
Surplus
11.88

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lot
1
-
-
1
Playlot
1
3
2
-
Tennis
1
8
7
-
Basketball
6
3
-
3
Football
1
1
-
-
Baseball
1
2
1
-

F. Comments

    1. The population of this census tract comprises 5% of the total township population. The age composition is proportional to the township with 63% 25 years old and up and 5% 5 years old or younger.
    2. The housing mix is limited to single family detached units which comprise 96.2% of the tracts housing stock.
    3. The acreage standards are sufficient without the addition of the Penn Wynne School (S5). It should be noted that the Wynnewood Road School (S4) has a small soccer field, but it is without any recreational equipment.
    4. The facilities are adequate with exception of a tot lot need. Also, the surplus of tennis courts (7) is offset by the lack of basketball courts (3).

CENSUS TRACT 2055.03

A. Population

1970
6038
1990
6340
Increase
302

B. Existing Acreage

 

P4 Penn Wynne Playground
10.22
S5 Penn Wynne School
4.50
 
Tract Average
14.72
P3 Wynnewood Valley Park
10.94
 
Total
25.66

C. Existing Facilities

P4 Penn Wynne Playground - Playground; 4 swing sets, 1 sliding board, 1 tot lot, 1 comfort station.
Recreation - 4 tennis courts, 2 ball-fields, 1 basketball court.

S5 Penn Wynne School - Recreation - 1 basketball court.

P3 Wynnewood Valley Park - Playground; 4 swing sets
Recreation - 1 basketball court, 3 fireplaces, 12 picnic tables.

D. Existing Conditions

P4 Penn Wynne Playground - Flat grassy fields with all weather tennis courts.

S5 Penn Wynne School - Paved basketball court.

P3 Wynnewood Valley Park - Open space with shaded picnic area. Play area with clay courts.

E. Surplus or Deficit Per Standards

1. Acres

Acres required
36.22
Acres existing
25.66
Surplus
10.56

2. Facilities

 
Required
Existing
Surplus
Deficiency
Tot Lot
3
1
-
2
Playlot
3
2
-
1
Tennis
3
6
3
-
Basketball
12
3
-
9
Football
1
1*
-
-
Baseball
1
2
1
-

*Football field can be converted to ballfields.

F. Comments

    1. This census tract is the most populated tract, comprising 10% of the township population. The breakdown of the age composition shows that 62% of the population is 25 years old or more while 5% is 5 years old or less.
    2. The housing stock is comparatively new compared to the township average, with 30% built during the last 30 years. Also, multi-family units comprise 30% of the total census tract housing stock.
    3. The standard acreage count shows a deficit of 10.56 acres, including the adjacent Wynnewood Valley Park.
    4. The acreage deficit, surprisingly, does not translate into a major facilities shortage. On the contrary, the area could use an additional tot lot and two more play lots, but it has adequate open space. As usual, the tract is nine basketball courts short of the requirements.

5. Conclusion

A variety of open space and parkland activities is available in the township, although some neighborhoods are not as well served as others. The township's total amount of open space and recreational acreage exceeds the standards; however, it is important that this parkland inventory should not be reduced in the future. Once such lands are converted to other uses, it is almost impossible to reacquire them for recreational purposes.

Court sports will probably continue to gain in popularity in the future, which will present a problem if identifying where additional facilities for tennis, racquetball, and perhaps squash, as well as bicycling and hiking can be best accommodated.

6. Bike Paths

Lower Merion Township has a system of marked bike paths throughout the township. These paths are not exclusive right-of-ways dedicated to bicyclists but are shared roadways and sidewalks often on heavily traversed streets. Many sections of the existing routes should be considered for improvements. The bike routes both actual and proposed were designed by the Lower Merion Planning Department. The bike routes are presented in Figure E-14.

BIKE ROUTES - Figure E-14

7. Swimming Pool Feasibility Analysis

By special request from the township an analysis of swimming facilities in the township was undertaken. The purpose was to determine the feasibility of building another outdoor 50 meter public pool in the township.

A survey of public and private pools, including residential pools was conducted. Standards of population support were obtained from the National Parks and Recreation Association. Discussion with Mr. Thomas Riley, Acting Head of Recreation, Lower Merion Township, was extremely helpful in clarifying the cost-effectiveness of the present sites. Additionally, conversation with the athletic and maintenance departments of the Lower Merion School District provided further information of value.

The following criteria were considered in the study:

  • Existing facilities per standard of 1 pool for 20,000 people.
  • User population.
  • Seasonal variations.
  • User fee schedules.
  • Pool locations.
  • Private residential pool locations.

    a. Existing Facilities

In Lower Merion, there are two outdoor summer pools, one located in Ardmore and the other in Belmont Hills. The school district operates an indoor facility for public recreation at the Lower Merion - Ardmore School complex. Besides these three pools, the public has at its disposal, the Ardmore-Main Line YMCA indoor pool and the Jewish Y (YMHA) all-year-round indoor pool at Haver-ford and City Line Avenues. The breakdown is as follows:

 

Pool Size Indoor/Outdoor Season

Ardmore 50M O S
Belmont Hills 50M O S
High School 50M I AYR
YMCA 50M I AYR
YMHA 50M I AYR

I = Indoor 0 = Outdoor
S = Summer AYR = All-Year-Round

b. Age Composition

The township currently has 16,609 people 19 years old or less (27%) and within the 20 to 55 year old bracket, the township has 35,132 people (55%). These two groups comprise 51,741 people or 82% of the township population which would make up the majority of potential pool users.

c. Income Characteristics

Most public facilities draw on low and medium income families. Those of higher incomes tend to join private facilities, install their own pools, or vacation out of the township for the summer months. Therefore, it is necessary to account for family income and use it to scale the potential user population.

In 1970, the low income family population was 924 (6%) and the moderate income family population was 2,300 (14%). Accordingly, those families in the middle income bracket ($10,000-$14,999) should also be considered as potential pool users to create the volume necessary to support future pool facilities. This adds another 2,884 families (18%). The total number of families that might use the pool facilities, then, is 6,108 (38%). By multiplying the number of families by the average family size of 3.0, the income characteristics give us 18,324 potential pool supporters.

d. Projected User Population

The gross population figure of 51,741 people under age 55 compared to the minimum figure of 18,324 people allows for two further calculations: simple averaging to derive an approximate user figure and a simple ratio technique to identify the membership proportions.

e. Averaging

This calculation is as follows:

51,741 population
18,324
70,065 ÷ 2 = 35,032 potential users

f. Ratio Technique

This technique draws on the past ratio of family to individual pool members at Belmont Hills.1 The examination lead to a proportion of 2.5 which means that for every one individual membership, 2.5 more people were obtained from family memberships. When applied to the figure 35,032, it shows that 24,872 (8290 families) of the 35,032 will be from family memberships and the remaining 10,160 will be individual memberships.

However, using the simple average with its overestimation of total population and perhaps with an underestimation of people based on income, leaves something to be desired. A very conservative estimation can be had by just using the income based projection of 18,324 people.

By reapplying the proportional value of individual to family members, 13,010 users (4336 families) will be drawn from family memberships and 5314 from individual memberships.

In either case, a substantial amount of users does exist in the township. For this analysis, the conservative figure of 18,324 people will be used.

g. Seasonal Variation

The summer months, with family vacations and school free children, are the prime recreational months for operating the outdoor pools. In 1977, the pool membership was composed of 2000 individual members and 1350 family members of approximately 7000 people.

____________________
1 2,000 individual members
 1,350 family members (household size 3.0)

2000 29%
5050 71%
7050 100%

This often created overcrowded conditions at the Belmont Hills Pool and given the untapped potential user population, another outdoor facility in the urbanized portion of the township may be necessary.

However, in winter, the outdoor pools close and the high school pool limits public swimming time because of classes. Those who enjoy swimming and cannot afford the fees of a quasi-public facility are forced to find new recreation. This creates the problem of whether one all-year-round facility would better serve the citizens of the township rather than a 3-month limited use outdoor facility.

h. User Fee Schedule

The township has developed a graduated fee schedule for both pools which was increased in 1978. At this time, the Belmont Hills Pool is supporting the Ardmore Pool, and as a complex, the facilities just meet their overhead costs.

The school pool is free to district residents but a sign up sheet is maintained and the hours are limited.

The private rates for the two Y's vary. At the Ardmore YMCA, a family of four pays a yearly membership of $165 but, because many people do not want to participate as a full member or cannot afford the full membership dues, they offer a special membership package. For adults, a basic fee of $20 for one year is charged and $10 for a child. However, each visit costs an additional $2.50 per visit.

The Jewish 'Y' offers no bargain rate package. For a family of four, $150 is the yearly membership fee and for a teen, $35 is the charge.

These private facilities that are open for a minimal fee do channel some of the users away from the public pools, but given the costs, it would be a minimal number of people. Additionally, their swim programs would be at their peak in the winter months when the township cannot provide any swimming facilities.

i. Pool Standards

The national standard of one pool per 20,000 total population appears to be met by the existing public and private facilities located in Lower Merion.

Figure E-15

SURPLUS OR DEFICIENCY PER STANDARD
1 POOL PER 20,000
IN LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

 

Pool Type
#
Season Open
Required
Surplus
Deficit
Public
2
Summer
3
-
1
Quasi-Public
+1=3
AYR
3
-
-
Private
+2=3
AYR
3
2
-

There appears to be a large surplus even, if the quasi-public school pool is withheld. The concern then is one of seasonal variations since the township pools are only open in the summer months.

j. Location of All Pools

The location of the pools in the township are in communities of high density. In particular, the two outdoor pools are located at the lowest median income sites. Physically, there appears to be an imbalance of locations which would not be equitable to the township at large. However, only 19% of the township population occupies the census tracts of 2048, 2049, and 2050 (Rosemont, Villanova-Gladwyne).

The purpose of locating the outdoor pools in Ardmore and Belmont Hills was two-fold; first, to provide a recreational service to low and moderate income families and second, to place the facilities in the areas of highest density. The eventual consideration of a pool in the northwest section of the township will depend on future land use activity in those tracts.

k. Private Residential Pools

Over the years, many township residents have constructed their own swimming pools. From 1969 to 1977. 790 pools were built (Figure E-16). By multiplying the average household size (3.0) by the number of pools, an approximate number of users results in 2370 people. Moreover, the pool locations are predominately in the communities of Gladwyne, Penn Valley and Villanova.

Figure E-16

PRIVATE POOLS

 

Voting
District
Number of
Pools
1
86
2
185
3
122
4
14
5
33
6
122
7
26
8
37
9
13
10
17
11
37
12
41
13
32
14
25
Total
790
Source: Building Department.
Includes in ground and above ground pools built since January, 1967.

L. Conclusion

According to the figures presented by the Park and Recreation Department, approximately 7000 people had use of the two existing public outdoor pools. This figure with the 2370 private users gives a strong indication of an active user population of 9,370 people. This figure represents 11% of the total township population. Yet, the projected user population ranged from 28% to 51% of the total township population. Therefore a large latent demand may indeed exist if another public facility was to be constructed. Furthermore, the population center lies in the east but the private residential pools are located primarily in the western portions of the township.

This concentration of potential users in the east, plus the overcrowdedness at the Belmont Hills Pool dictates the general location of a new facility. However, new growth in the township will most likely occur in the western half of the • township. This growth will probably bring in more children as the older more developed areas change in composition. Hence, future need must be considered in locating another facility in the Villanova, Rosement, Gladwyne area. Lastly, in winter, when outdoor recreation is limited, an all weather facility may be able to capture a large following and simultaneously provide comparatively inexpensive recreation to low and moderate income families.

8. Capital Improvement Projects

The township maintains a schedule of projects that are to receive capital improvements. This schedule, which is referred to as the Capital Improvement Program, specifies the cost and nature of improvements that might be accomplished annually for a six year period. Included among these projects are expenditures to enhance park and recreation facilities. The list is updated annually for successive six year periods, to insure the proper setting of priorities.

Examples of typical capital improvement program line items are as follows:

Figure E-17

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

 

a. Add playground equipment $000
b. Resurface tennis courts $000
c. Construct swimming pool $000

 

B. SCHOOL FACILITIES

1. Overview

The boundaries of the Lower Merion School District are coterminous with the township and include the Borough of Narberth. It is composed of fifteen facilities of which, two are senior high schools, three are junior high schools and the remaining ten facilities are elementary schools. Figure E-18 and E-19 provides the names and the drawing areas of the district's institutions.

Over the years, the School District has provided its residents with a comprehensive network of progressive institutions However, a shift in the demographic patterns, in which a drop in the student enrollment has been observed, has lead to a major community debate over possible school closings.

Presently, a school district report outlining the mechanics of shutting down each building, should the School Board choose to eliminate certain schools, is under discussion.

Figure E-18

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

IN LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

 

Map
Index
Code
#
High Schools
c5
S1
  Lower Merion High
C12
S14
  Harrition high
 
Junior High Schools
C5
S2
  Ardmore Junior High
G3
S7
  Bala Cynwyd Junior High
G6
S12
  Welsh Valley Junior High
 
Elementary Schools
E3
S3
  Merion Public School
B4
S4
  Wynnewood Road School
B2
S5
  Penn Wynne School
F2
S6
  Bala School
G3
S8
  Cynwyd Public School
H4
S10
  Belmont Hills Elementary
F6
S11
  Penn Valley Elementary
A9
S13
  Bryn Mawr School
E8
S15
  Gladwyne Elementary
E4
S35
  Narberth School

Figure E-19

PUPIL PROGRESSION FLOW CHART

IN THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

Elementary Schools Junior High Schools Senior High Schools
S35 Narberth    
S5 Penn Wynne S1 Ardmore  
S4 Wynnewood Road   S1 Lower Merion
 
S7 Bala    
S8 Cynwyd S7 Bala Cynwyd  
S3 Merion    
     
S13 Bryn Mawr    
S10 Belmont Hills S12 Welsh Valley S14 Harriton
S15 Gladwyne    
S11 Penn Valley    

2. Utilization of Schools

a. Enrollments

Public school enrollments often reflect the changing age composition and general social trends of a school district. Lower Merion School District is such a district. The Pennsylvania Economy League, in report No. M-83 and updated in a September, 1977 newsletter, examines the change in enrollments of Lower Merion.

By using a standard grade-progression method, projections of 1976 enrollments through 1986 show that total enrollments gradually increased in the period 1960 through 1967 but have since declined, and may continue to drop during the next ten years. Elementary school enrollments (grades 1-6 and special) have declined 19% since their peak year in 1967, while secondary school enrollments (grades 7-12 and special) have decreased 12% from their 1966 peak. Present projections indicate lower enrollments in 1981 than in 1976 and lower enrollments in 1986 than in 1981.

Much of the school construction in the 1960fs was based on the assumption that enrollments would increase due to a continuing high birth rate and in-migration of children born outside the area. But in-migration was minimal, annual births declined (Figure E-20), and so enrollments declined (Figure E-21).

Unless offset by the in-migration of significant numbers of school age children (highly unlikely given the maturity in housing stock and lack of available land), the 1960-76 decline in births is likely to cause declining school enrollments until at least 1988. In 1988, those born in 1976 will have reached the half-way mark (the 7th grade) in their elementary and secondary education.

Moreover, the number of births to mothers residing in the district in the past four years (1972-1975) is less than in any four year period since 1960. Births in 1972-1975 were 39.2% less than 1960-1963, and 26.7% less than 1968-1971. Annual births in 1972 through 1975 were fewer than in any other years covered in this report. With the 1976 figure in, it appears that the birth rate is still declining.

Assuming that the birth rate will stabilize at 495 births per year,the Pennsylvania Economy League made the enrollment projections found in Figure E-21.

The decrease from the period of 1970 to 1976 was 28.6% for kindergarten, 18% for grades 1-6 and special, 8.4% for grades 7-12 and special, and 14.5% for grades K-12 and special. Since the projections were made on an assumption of stabilized birth rates, which in reality appear for the 1976-80 period to still be on the decline, enrollments most likely will continue to drop.

Figure E-20

ANNUAL BIRTHS

 

YEAR
NUMBER
 
1960
833
1961
850
1962
806
1963
757
Sub Total
3,246
 
1964
819
1965
738
1966
702
1967
704
Sub Total
2,963
 
1968
664
1969
726
1970
705
1971
595
Sub Total
2,690
 
1972
522
1973
485
1974
466
1975
499
Sub Total
1,972
 
1976
430
 
TOTAL
11,301
Source: Pennsylvania Economy League Report M-83

Figure E-21

LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT

1960-1976 ACTUAL ENROLLMENTS; AND PROJECTIONS 1977-1980

 

School
Year
Starting
Kind.
%
Change
Grades
1-6 &Sp.
%
Change
Grades
7-12&Sp.
%
Change
Total
Grades
K-12&Sp.
%
Change
 
1960
720
4,403
4,368
9,491
1961
731
4,318
4,634
9,683
1962
753
4,352
4,784
9,889
1963
740
4,250
4,935
9,925
1964
755
+4.8%
4,297
-2.4%
4,890
+11.9%
9,942
+4.7%
1965
752
4,262
4,986
10,000
1966
784
4,252
5,018
10,054
1967
799
4,341
4,971
10,111
1968
785
4,329
4,967
10,081
1969
813
+8.1%
4,340
-1.8%
4,911
-1.5%
10,064
+6.4%
1970
699
4,273
4,826
9,798
1971
669
4,170
4,785
9,624
1972
640
4,039
4,726
9,405
1973
561
4,019
4,693
9,273
1974
612
-12%
3,773
-11%
4,516
-6.4%
8,901
-9.1%
1975
592
3,701
4,456
8,749
1976
449
3,505
4,416
8,370
 
Projected
 
1977
444
3,295
4,291
8,030
1978
412
3,065
4,209
7,686
1979
396
2,859
4,079
7,334
1980
424
-28.3%
2,722
-26%
3,892
-12.3%
7,038
-19%
1981
421
2,583
3,754
6,758
1982
421
2,421
3,576
6,418
1983
421
2,382
3,267
6,170
1984
421
2,378
3,137
5,936
1985
421
-0-
2,394
-7.3%
2,928
-19.2%
5,743
-15%
1986
421
2,414
2,787
5,622
Source: 1960-1976 Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, annual start-of-year (September) enrollment summaries. Pa. Economy League, Ibid.

b. Utilization Rate

Consistent with the trend of reduced numbers of school children is the apparent underutilization of the elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in the Lower Merion School District.

Current enrollments, utilization rates, and capacities for the 1975-1976 school year are shown in Figure E-22. With a school capacity system of 11,651 students and an enrollment figure of only 8,752 and falling, the utilization was at 75.2%. The senior high schools had the lowest utilization rate (70.9%), followed by the elementary schools (75.8%), and the junior high schools (80.6%). Underutilization of schools results in a higher per capita expenditure per student.

Figure E-22

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT, CAPACITY, AND

UTILIZATION RATE, 1975-1976

 

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