The Abington Area Community Park is managed by the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB). The AAJRB was created in 1972 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deeded surplus land to the Boroughs of Clarks Green and Clarks Summit, and the townships of Abington, Glenburn, and South Abington.
Those municipalities created the AAJRB as a Joint Advisory Board, according to PA State Law for Intergovernmental Cooperation, and charged the AAJRB with developing and managing recreation for the Abington region.
1972: Commonwealth Deeds Land To Municipalities
1972: Five Municipalities form the AAJRB as a Joint Advisory Board – a special purpose intergovernmental body
1980s: The Park Lake is first stocked For Fishing
1987: Developed Lower Field For Soccer And Softball
1992: Developed International Soccer Field
1994: Leased Land To Clarks Summit Which Built And Maintains The Abington Senior Center
1996: Proposed Civic Center (unfunded)
2000: Developed Second Soccer (Jack Stroney) Field2001: Completed Irrigation System With Water Wheel.
2002: Constructed 30-foot By 50-foot Storage Garage
2004: Community Tree Planting Project, phase 1
2006: Community Tree Planting Project, phase 2
2006: Demonstration Fishing Pier Installed
2007: Community Tree Planting Project, phase 3
2007: Hiking/Nature Trail Constructed with broad community support
2007: Additional Fishing Pier and Handicapped Parking & Pathway Constructed
2008: Community Garden Project Announced
2008: Supervised Summer Activity Camp for Middle School aged children launched
2008: AEIO and You supports Earth Camp as a state approved educational program
2008: Keystone College Service Learning volunteers continue to help clear trails each year.
2009: Funding for Boundless Playground, Soccer Field upgrades.
2009: Private Connecticut foundation provides $10,000 in funding for handicapped access enhancements
2010: State of PA Provides funding to match Abington Youth Soccer Funds to Light Soccer Field
2010: Lakeside pavilion and accessible bathroom facility were added via state and county grants
2010: Junior Comets Football Club commits funding to develop football and cheerleading practice complex
2010: Inaugural Forever Young Fishing Derby is held for children under 16 on the second Saturday in June which is done with the support of area businesses and supports the lake enhancements.
2011: State provides funding to expand fishing piers and increase trout stocking of Eston Wilson Lake
2011: Governor Rendell and Governor Corbett approve $900,000 of RCAP funds for key developments at the Park. James Kane is our consultant applied and is overseeing this grant.
2011: ‘The Tree” carving by Kevin Treat, represents Art in Nature, and is the trailhead marker
2011: Under the leadership of Marie King, a Dog Park was built with sections for large dogs and small dogs. This development becomes a favored destination and a close knit group of park visitors.
2012: We begin renting the pavilion with funds applied to support park’s operations.
2012: Many volunteers built a boardwalk around a section of the lake with maintenance-free Azek decking from local Azek Building Products. Tim Mc Coy was the project leader, while Richard and Jeanne Yarmey built the deck foundation.
2012: Abington Paving installed an all accessible paved path from the pavilion to the boardwalk with funds raised from Leadership Lackawanna’s Walk the Lake Project.
2012: Abington Community Garden begins hosting annual Garden Socials.
2012: A volunteer creates a meandering walking trail through tall grass adjacent to the
2012: Art Walk: Varied styles of art reflecting park’s deer, trout and blue heron are portrayed along the lake path from local artists: Leela Bakaidi, Jennifer Brandon, Joan Mead Matsui. This project was funded with support from Lackawanna County of the Arts.
2012: AED was purchased with the support of AYSL, Dog Park, Abington Community Classroom and Tim Rowland.
2012: AAJRB, the park, sports-affiliate and civic groups together hosted the 1st Harvest Moon Fest featuring visual and musical artists, games, Home Run Derby and – Pumpkin Chunkin’ activity at the park’s mesmerizing autumn background.
2012: An online park survey was done to offer direction for future developments and programs.
2012: Abington Dog Park plants a rain garden to both beautify the area and help with stormwater management.
2013: Marie King secured Shade trees for planting around the lake border and other areas around the park to allow for both beautification and stormwater management solutions.
2013: Kevin Treat created several park animal-themed benches and a fish sculpture with funds from Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Grant.
2013: The park is formally re-named Hillside Park, recommended by the County Communication’s Center.
2013: The Abington Dog Park community raises funds and applies them to have a paved driveway.
2013: Partnership League was initiated with three affiliate sport groups –Abington Youth Soccer League, Abington Area Girls Softball League, Junior Comets- to assist in the oversight and managemesnt of the park’s playing fields.
2013: An LSA Grant award funded the installation of Field Lighting to allow for year round day and night play. It was installed by Joyce Electrical, Inc.. and Tim Mc Coy was Project leader.
2013: In April, the Abington Dog Park, in partnership with Marywood University’s grad students, held their first Paws and Stripes fundraising event to provide service dogs for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
2013: We held the inaugural ten week Lakeside Wednesday Concert Series featuring local professional bands and visual artists which included ‘Senator John Blake and Friends’ band. It was supported by many local businesses and media (Lamar, Abington Journal). The series was videotaped by Skip Ward and was shown weekly on ECTV.
2013: Field Turf’s artificial turf was installed late summer. Its completion represented a unique partnership with soccer and football leagues who negotiated shared time for practices and games. It is set up for rental. This project was led by Consultant, James Kane, and funded by a Pennsylvania RCAP grant, through the cooperation of Clarks Green Council with significant guidance from Attorney Al Weinshank. In addition, the Abington Youth Soccer League and Junior Comets League created a partnership to complete the funding requirements for the project.
2013: The Abington Lions donated 18 weekends of labor for park beautification, clearing brush and trees, along Winola Road creating a pristine positive impression of the lake and park.
2013: Jesse Nova proposed the start of Clarks Summit Pick Up Soccer for youth to use the new artificial turf field when it was not in use. The idea quickly became a success -engaging youth and adults.
2013: Lowes awarded a $2000 grant to the Abington Community Garden for tools, supplies and plants. Employees also contributed to mulching the garden paths.
2013: Abington Girls Softball hosts a week-long summer tournament and had a Coaches competition.
2013: Marie King secured a variety of 16 Bare Root Trees for planting along the lake border. This project was done by Boy Scouts with support from the Abington Lions Club.
2013: PA Water Company installed water line along Winola Road providing water access up to the Dog Park.
2013: The fill dirt from PAWC project was used to develop an expanded parking area between Stroney field and the Dog Park with help from Bill Wicks, Glenburn Supervisor.
2013: DEP permit was approved to stock vegetation-eating carp in the Lake as a way to control weeds and algae without chemicals. They grow to great size and are genetically altered not to reproduce.
2013: Grant writing consultant, Sandy Opshinsky, applied for and secured a $250, 000 of Act 13 Marcellus Shale Grant for Park renovations and upgrades.
2014: Rich Kubick led the Abington Lions to host the inaugural Winter Fest Ice Skating on Valentine’s evening.
2014: Park hires Murphy, Dougherty & Company are hired for a financial audit, upon request of Clarks Green Council.
2014: Launch of new park website created by consultant Jared Brandon: www.Hillsidepark.net
2014: Abington Area Girls Softball committed to a $6,000 donation over two years and will continue to help manage the fields they use.
2014: Park operations are more refined -a payroll company is hired to facilitate payroll and we begin to have assistance from a consultant Financial Manager.