-PARKS AND REC-
By Alyssa Brinza
Robinson Township made the jump and hired its first-ever Director of Parks and Recreation.
“This is the first time ever we had something like this. We have no recreation programming,” Manager Frank Piccolino III said.
The township brought Jennifer Yuvan on board to get everything started. Yuvan, born in West Newton, has been a basketball coach and has experience with youth organizations. Yuvan said though her background is strong in youth sports she plans to supply “well-rounded” activities accessible to all ages. Recently, she served as a Recreation Manager for the City of Pittsburgh.
Yuvan says that it is “really enjoyable,” loves the team she is working with and they’re very supportive.
“Everyone’s wonderful,” she said of her new colleagues.
As for what she does, Yuvan spoke about overseeing park systems, grants, and recreation programming. Her goals for the position and the township are to create more opportunities and be a “robust provider for the people that live here.”
She emphasized this was “something that was needed.” Looking forward 10 years, she’s hopeful the programming “continues to grow…and becomes a reliable, consistent program for people.”
“My goals here go beyond just providing sports opportunities to children and consist of providing well-rounded recreational opportunities of all types for people of all ages. As for opportunities, we should plan to see,” Yuvan said.
Piccolino said up until now they’d always used third-party vendors for operations at the Clever Park Pool. With Yuvan they hoped to bring swim lessons and pool parties on board.
The township will be utilizing new recreation software to allow for online registration for programs, summer camps, shelter rentals and pool memberships.
“We are really excited about it, as it will help us to enhance our customer service, better communicate with our community regarding our offerings, and allow for easy enrollment by minimizing the need for walk-in registration,” Yuvan said.
That platform is tentatively set to go live in early January on the township website where families are encouraged to create their own account.
A number of new program partners set to provide youth programming and summer camps in 2023 have been set up, including Mad Science, Eco Explorers, JumpBunch, Snapology, Soccer Shots, Fired Up Pottery Studio.
Yuvan is not directly involved in the Olde Y- Business Park’s sports complex and programming, but may be in the future, Piccolino said. The township has recently entered a partnership with the Olde Y called the Robinson Township Recreation Center, but at this time it is staffed by their employees. Robinson Township residents can purchase yearly memberships at a discounted rate for the complex located at the former YMCA site on Montour Run near Beaver Grade Road.
Yuvan’s goal is to continue asking herself, “what can we do to bring a robust recreation department to Robinson Township.”