SRU Good News for March 23, 2009
SRU graduate spearheads plan for Osceola Mills park upgrade
Shawn Inlow, once a walk-on soccer player and later 1983 English graduate at Slippery Rock University, is using his soccer talents to start a soccer program for 12-year-olds and upgrade a park in his Osceola Mills community.
Inlow, who was profiled by Josh Woods, a staff writer at The Progress, a newspaper serving Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg and Moshannon Valley, said he learned the game in the 1970s as part of a local soccer league. He used his talents at SRU and as Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School's first boys' varsity soccer coach, a post from which he will soon retire, to continue his work at the Osceola Mills Memorial Park's Teener League Field.
At the local park, Inlow hopes to establish benches, pavilions, athletic fields, a pool and walking track. He hopes the facility will offer space for tennis, golf, softball and soccer.
"I used to joke that some day I would be an old troll inside a tiny house in the middle of a bunch of soccer fields that would teach kids the ins and outs of the game," Inlow told Woods. "I'm hoping to generate interest in soccer, especially with younger kids through the Philipsburg-Osceola Soccer Association."
Initial plans call for a field house renovation at the park and work to open a clubhouse for area youth - with a focus on soccer and physical fitness.
He and others have formed the Osceola Recreation Committee which will study use of the park and report to the Osceola Mills Borough Council as part of a master site plan creation. The involved groups will work to secure state grants to fund the improvements.
Inlow envisions a paved walking track complete with handicap accessibility and feature resting and exercise stations. The pool, already part of the park, will receive federally mandated upgrades, the newspaper reported
Long-term goals of the plan include exploration of the Rails-to-Trails program and partnerships with local organizations on remediation of Moshannon Creek. The possibilities of a mountain bike club, an ultimate Frisbee league and a skating area will also be explored.
A door-to-door donation drive to raise $8,000 is in the works.
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