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Quakertown Park District
Richland Township, Pennsylvania


In the spring of 2006, Richland Township, Pennsylvania (30 miles north of Philadelphia) embarked on a plan to develop a 20 acre tract of farm land into a new park. Richland Township surrounds the villages of Quakertown and Richlandtown and has been experiencing steady growth which has placed pressure on the Park and Recreation Department to keep pace with the demand for sports fields.



The new park contains six softball fields, two multi-purpose fields, a walking trail, a playground, a picnic area and parking spots for 320 cars. The site has also been chosen as the location for a new veterans’ memorial resulting in the name Veterans Park. Land for the new park was acquired under the joint Land Preservation Program of Bucks County and Richland Township.



Steve Sechriest, Township Manager, explained, “One of the things we noticed about the site was that the soils in that area don’t drain particularly well. So that was a concern to us. The softball season is quite short and so we were concerned that if we got a lot of rain it could mean trouble. We recommended putting an underdrain in the softball fields to prevent game cancellations.”



Engineering firm, Boucher and James, from Doylestown, PA, recommended a Multi-Flow drain system. They felt that the Multi-Flow provided effective and long lasting drainage at an affordable cost.



Sechriest recalled that after the plans were drawn up, “We invited bids on the project with and without an underdrain. And the price with the drainage system came in better than expected so we went with it.”



Subsurface drainage was only a small part of the $2.5 million project but it will add immeasurably to the value of the park, making it available soon after heavy rain events.



A. H. Cornell and Son won the bid and commenced with the grading of the site in January. Drainage was installed in June of 2006. Progress on the project was slow due to recurring rain. As the township had observed, the site soil was slow to drain. Consequently, there were long delays after each rain. The soil avoided saturation and rebounded much more quickly once the Multi-Flow drain was in place.



The park will be out of bounds until the summer of 2007 allowing the newly seeded grass time to become well established. Next summer the park should be ready for normal park and recreation activities such as soccer and softball practices and games, picnics, walks, as well as special events such as tournaments, outdoor movie nights, and the annual Community Day events.

Richland Park and Recreation serves the needs of residents of the township as well as surrounding villages.
Veterans Park will specialize in softball but be used for a wide variety of functions.
Township Manager Steve Sechriest says, "The park does not have a very thick layer of topsoil, for the most part, and under that is nothing but clay and rock."
The 20 acre site required considerable grading. The bulk of the dirt work was carried out in January to March of 2006.
Frequent rains in the spring of 2006 slowed up the process of installing the drainage system and finishing up the surface grading. Here you see Multi-Flow products and construction equipment waiting for the rain to stop.
8-inch PVCtransport pipes were installed and partially backfilled before the Multi-Flow collector lines were trenched in.
Narrow trenches were cut for the Multi-Flow collectors. Once the Multi-Flow was in place, rain was no longer a serious deterrent to construction progress.