Printable Version - Ferguson Township’s Sustainability Initiatives: Our Parks

September 9, 2015

In April 2015, Ferguson Township was named a Certified Gold Community by Sustainable Pennsylvania.Certified Gold Community - Ferguson Township

We were glad to be recognized for our commitment to preserving our agricultural heritage and our wide open spaces, to responsible development, and doing all we can to promote a sustainable community.

The Township's sustainable initiatives include:

    •    agricultural preservation
    •    stormwater management
    •    our parks
    •    our bike-friendly community and shared use paths
    •    refuse, recycling, compost and yard waste

Our Parks
Ferguson Township is home to some of the most beautiful and well-maintained parkland in central Pennsylvania. Tom Tudek Memorial Park is a prime example of sustainable initiatives in Ferguson Township.

When Ferguson Township received a $265,000 fee-in-lieu of parkland and a $100,000 Commonwealth of PA grant to acquire land and develop a park, now retired Ferguson Township Manager Mark Kunkle asked Bob and Elsie Tudek if they would be willing to sell some of their land to the Township for the purpose of developing a 10-acre park.

The Tudeks welcomed this request with a generous offer: If Ferguson Township bought 20 acres of the Dreibelbis farmland, they would donate the remaining 42 acres.

Named in memory of the Tudeks’ late son, Tudek Park came to be the Township’s largest--and most exceptional--park.

Its covenants stipulated that only 20 of the original acres are to be used for active recreation, no pesticides or herbicides are permitted, and the park would remain sustainable. If the park were ever to revert to another use, ownership would be transferred from the Township to the Clearwater Conservancy and the Commonwealth of PA would be entitled to a refund of its grant money.

To ensure Tudek Park remains sustainable, the Tudek family donated $10,000 each year for 10 years to endow the Tom Tudek Memorial Park Trust, a dedicated 501(c)(3) charitable trust fund established in June, 1993.

Through generous donations by the Tudek family and others the trust has paid for an additional 16 acres of wooded area, 23 acres that include the Dreibelbis farm homestead, renovations to the farmhouse (which has a tenant) and barn, community gardens, horse pastures, and a dog park--all of which make Tudek Park a park unlike any other in the area.

“We think of Tudek Park as a gem in our community,” Kunkle said. “It’s the second highest used park in the region’s park system.” There are now 30 acres of active recreation area and the remaining 61.5 acres are woodland, bringing the park to 91.5 acres in all.

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