B-A Community Park seeing more fun seekers as summer rolls on

Make no mistakes about it, there’s always someone at the Bellwood-Antis Community Park.
Whether it’s the cool shading of the trees by the stream, the interesting activities on the playground equipment, the dust kicking up on the baseball fields or the splash of refreshingly cool water at the pool, the area just keeps bringing people in.
“Just last week, there were more than 500 kids running around here,” said Ray Amato, an Antis Township supervisor and president of the B-A Park and Recreation Authority. “They were from Bellwood, Antis Township, Snyder Township, Tyrone, Altoona…everywhere. People are really beginning to see what is all offered here. It’s a perfect recreation area.”
Amato said the park has always attracted a good number of people, but the recent addition of a massive playground structure has people who have never visited the park before, coming back again and again.
“It’s for the family and there’s something here for everyone,” said Amato.
The new playground equipment was installed earlier this summer. It was purchased through a $27,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Park and Recreation program. The equipment rests on a little more than 5,500-square-feet and contains a multiple sliding boards, climbing apparatus, chinning bars and other surprises.
Recently, more work went into the playground equipment. Amato said more wood chips, state approved for safety of course, were added and a fence was installed to protect the children inside. Also, a new plaque dedicating the grounds as installed and a Cleveland pear tree, which Amato said will flower, was donated by Gulish’s Garden Center.
Amato said commemorative benches are also for sale. Currently, there are seven benches inside the park and Amato said more are available. Anyone interesting in making a donation to the park or would like to publicly display a deceased loved one on a bench is encouraged to contact Ginger or Ray at the township office.
“It’s really coming along,” said Amato. “We just want the people visiting the park to leave here with a good, fun experience. I think so far, that has been happening.”
The Bellwood-Antis Community Pool, operated by the Tyrone YMCA, has also seen an increase in visitors.
“Of course, the hotter the day, the more people,” said B-A pool manager Walter Hammond. “But even when the sun isn’t beating down, there are still people in the water.”
Hammond noted there will be a Splash Hop at the pool on July 27 from 8-10 p.m. There will be music provided and refreshments served, as well as games, such as the “Big Splash” contest.