Lehman Township Community Park is located on Winona Falls Road in Bushkill, Pennsylvania. The park has a rich history, starting as a park known as Winona Five Falls, then as Magic Valley Amusement Park, transforming into the Pocono Renaissance Faire, then the Pike County Agricultural Fair and finally back to a park.
In 2004, the property was up for sale and the Lehman Township Supervisors realized that they could not allow this beautiful parcel of land be developed into residential housing units.
Set along the Saw Creek, an Exceptional Value Stream with natural trout fishing, the Supervisors were eager to keep this area green. They applied for and received a $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to help offset the purchase price and were able to acquire it. Now it will remain open space forever.
A consultant was brought in to develop a Master Plan. A park committee was formed and public meetings were held to get input as to what the residents of Lehman Township would like to see in their new park. First and foremost, people wanted to keep the area green. Additional ideas were discussed and from those meetings a Multi-Year Master Plan is now being followed. In addition to Township funds, various grants from DCNR and the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development have helped pay for some of the planning and development of the park.
Lehman Township has accomplished an extensive amount of work over the last few years towards the Master Plan. All the buildings needed new roofs and other major repairs. Some buildings were in such poor condition, it was necessary to demolish them. Grass areas had more stone than dirt, typical for the Poconos, but the Township has been adding top soil and planting new grass. Blacktop paths were full of potholes and they have been repaired. Due to three 100-year storms in 2004, extensive stream-bank erosion occurred. The damage has been repaired and measures put in place to prevent its reoccurrence. The uppermost parking area is being leveled with fill so that a multi-purpose athletic field and walking trail can be installed.
Since acquiring the Lehman Community Park, the Lehman Supervisors wasted no time in putting it to use for the benefit of the area residents. The first events were the Summer Concert Series with a concert each month from June through September each year. The Annual Blues Festival soon followed as one of the premiere events. For the last two years we have had a free Children’s Fishing Derby as well as other events.
In 2009, a new event took place: the Haunted Halloween Trail. This one-day event was attended by 4,000 people. It was so successful that in 2010 it is being expanded to two days! Two distinct trails will be available for guests:
One trail for older children and adults. If you dare take this frightfully scary trail, you will pass through The Graveyard, The Camp, The Experiment, The House, The Backwoods and The Encounter! Warning: This trail is not for young children or the faint of heart.
A second trail is specifically designed for children under 10 years of age. Along this trail, the children will encounter various games and challenges and will be delightfully rewarded with small bags of candy or other goodies.
Visit the Haunted Lehman Park Website for more details.
New this year we will be having a Community Day – Magic in the Valley. This fun event will feature two live bands, a magician, clown, face-painting, Irish Step Dancing, an extra-large Moon Bounce, pony rides, petting zoo, various craft and food vendors, community groups, senior citizen information, scout demonstrations and much more. There will even be an antique auction with a professional auctioneer. The Bushkill Historical Society is now located in the park. Be sure to take some time to see interesting artifacts and newspaper articles regarding the history of Bushkill.
If that is not enough, the day will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks display from an international fireworks company. This is an event you will not want to miss!
The Park’s Future
Lehman Community Park will continue to have all the events that are currently running and probably more. We constantly look for ways to bring free or low-cost events to the people. We know that even if people don’t have a lot of money to spend, they still need something fun to do. We provide this to them right in their own backyards.
In addition, the Township will continue the development of the multi-purpose athletic field, walking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, basketball and handball courts. It is a long and expensive project, but the Lehman Supervisors are committed to making the Lehman Community Park a wonderful place to come with your family and enjoy the beautiful scenery and have fun!