From community engagement through planning for the long-term sustainability of projects, we help make our communities better places in which to live, work and operate a business. Our focus is on implementation and getting the job done right!
Warrington Township Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, Grants and Fundraising
The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan was the framework for parkland acquisition of important conservation area, development of township wide trail system, establishment of a professional parks and recreation department, and creation of a state of the art playground involving children in the design process. The hallmark of this project was the creation of a strategy to form a public-private partnership and build local capacity for fund-raising that resulted in nearly $2,000,000 generated for the playground in private fund-raising and grants.
EAST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP
Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan
The Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan was the foundation for the revitalization of the Parks and Recreation Department. Implementation of the plan resulted in launching the Township's bicycle network, development of a state-of-the-art playground, and a 500% increase in programming. The Department generated more than $4,000,000 in grants for these projects, was Pennsylvania's Agency of the year in 2018, and a two-time finalist for an NRPA Gold Medal Award in 2019 and 2020.
PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU OF STATE PARKS
Visitor Management and Resource Conservation Study
Beltzville State Park is a 3,002-acre park with a 949-acre lake used for motorized boating and water sports as well as a rest stop for migratory fowl. The lake, sand beach, picnic pavilions, visitors' center, and convenient access attract visitors far and wide. Park visitation greatly exceeds the capacity of the park in both quality of visitors' experience, the protection of important natural resources, and staff capacity. The Bureau of State Parks commissioned Toole Recreation Planning to take the lead on public engagement, operations, and maintenance. Partnered with Penn State University, the project included multi-cultural interviewing and technology-based visitor sue and assessment. The project will be finalized post-COVID practices for public safety.
Appalachian Trail Museum Strategic Plan
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society envisioned the Appalachian Trail Museum as a world-class museum
that tells the story of America’s most beloved trail. The Society’s purpose is to reach and inspire the broadest possible community of trail advocates and visitors—locally, nationally, and internationally—
through the Museum and its online services. In a collaborative process, Toole Recreation Planning Plan worked with key stakeholders to set goals for the Museum and define the action plan to achieve them. The strategic planning process involved stepping back from the Museum’s day-to-day operations to explore where the Appalachian Trail Museum Society (ATMS) is headed and what its priorities should be to get there
over the next ten years, with an
emphasis on near-term actions.
PENNSYLVANIA PARK MAINTENANCE INSTITUTE
Funding, Feasibility Study, and Launch
Toole Recreation Planning developed the concept for the Pennsylvania Park Maintenance Institute, secured funding to explore its potential. We conducted the feasibility study and developed the business plan in collaboration with Natural Lands, Urban Partners, and the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society. The next step was securing private funding as well as leads to other sources of private funds, and laying the groundwork for public funding. PRPS launched teh Institute on 2019.
Park and Recreation Plan, Open Space Plan, Three Updates, 10 Park Master Plans, a Trail Plan, and Community Center Development with Updates
From 1992 - 2020, Toole Recreation Planning worked with Plymouth Township in re-imagining and bringing to life the public parks and recreation system. Outcomes include the establishment of the Greater Plymouth Community Center, revitalization of all public parks, master planning for 21st-century advances, and formulation of the township bicycle path network. The Township secured a key conservation area and developed it as a nature-based park that captured Pennylsvania's first Green Park Award. The Township has secured about $5 million in grant funds for these projects as well as raised significant private funds for the development of the community center. The community center is a model of cost recovery. The Parks and Recreation Department has won many awards for its management, programs, and services and is the Township's top-rated municipal service by the public.
CITY OF COATESVILLE
The Greening of Coatesville
Since 2015, Toole Recreation Planning has teamed with Natural Lands and Brandywine Health Foundation in developing the Coatesville Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan; Coatesville Area Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan; Palmer Park Master Plan; Ash Park Master Plan; Patton Park KaBoom Playground; and South Coatesville Area Regional Recreation Plan. We secured funding from American Water, the Walt Disney Company, ArcelorMittal, Chester County Community Foundation, Chester County Vision Partnerships, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and gifts to the Natural Lands Campaign for Humans and Nature. The Palmer Park revitalization project won Pennsylvania's Green Park Award.
THE BIG PICTURE
1,000+ Projects and Counting
Ann Toole, CPRP, has produced more than 1,000 projects throughout the 14 northeastern states and the District of Columbia through her work managing community recreation and park planning with the National Park Service and now with her firm. While the park development and capital improvement projects are very cool and garner a high degree of public attention and awards, the true lasting value of her work is in building the capacity to sustain public parks and recreation facilities and services through effective management, operations, and programming. It's what happens after the ribbon-cutting that matters...