Recreation in Hazle Township
Youth soccer is just one of the many activities in Hazle Township.
Hazle Township and surrounding communities feature a variety of activities for all seasons.
Hazle Township Community Park is positioned right in the middle of Hazle Township near the Laurel Mall. At the park, local residents can enjoy fishing, biking, trails, pavilions, a playground and more.
In 1959, the Community Park Organization established a local park that was meant to be more like a state park, rather than just a playground. The park was planned to feature outdoor recreation and activities for the whole family.
After a 170-acre parcel of land was acquired for the new park, work began on the construction of a 26-acre lake. On July 4, 1962, the lake was dedicated as “Lake Irena” in honor of the late Mrs. Irena Correale. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission stocks the lake with native fish species and many people enjoy fishing there.
On October 14, 1965, Hazle Township purchased the Greater Hazleton Community Park using a $40,000 grant. Today, the park is called Hazle Township Community Park.
The park has been continually improved since then. Pavilions, picnic tables, trails, a playground, benches, bike racks, a fence and grills have been added and improved. The bathrooms have been remodeled and made handicapped-accessible, and a swing for handicapped residents has been added.
A “Snack Shack” concession stand operates near the playground. A stage and new pavilion were constructed in 2005, and new playground equipment was added in 2007.
More recently, the Hazleton Lions Club built another new pavilion at the park.
The park also features soccer fields, constructed in 1997. The Hazle Township Supervisors and Recreation Board worked with the Hazleton Soccer Association in adding this amenity to Community Park.
The Recreation Board is made up of nine volunteer members of the community who are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The board meets the first Wednesday of the month.
Current members are James Darr, Sheila Deangelo, Kathy Fogerty, Joseph Galada, Margaret Galada, Debbie Kay, Mary Rajkiewicz, Shannon Tobias and Christine Yahera.
The board’s prime responsibility is the maintenance, improvement and management of the Hazle Township Community Park. The board also sponsors numerous recreational events throughout the year, such as Easter egg hunts and Halloween parades.
The board’s activities are funded by the township budget, grants, donations, gifts, pavilion rentals and snack sales. Many other civic and business groups throughout the region also contribute to the park. In 1997, No. 1 Construction Company and members of Carpenters Union Local 76 constructed a handicapped-accessible fishing pier. A United States Army tank was acquired; in working with our local veteran and civic organizations, this tank was permanently placed and dedicated to our servicemen and servicewomen.
The park is an excellent spot for families, groups and individuals to enjoy a variety of activities throughout the year. One of those events, the “Day At The Park,” is held every year during the second weekend in July.
Youth sports are important to many township residents, with many young people playing in Babe Ruth, Little League or other sports leagues. The ASA of PA Jake Kislan Softball Complex in Drifton is also located in Hazle Township.
The township is also home to the Anthracite Model Railroad Club, which hosts open houses throughout the year. The two-level layout displays Greater Hazleton in the 1940s, allowing the club to use both diesel and steam locomotives. The club's building is located on Hanover Court off 22nd Street in Hazle Township.
Additionally, Hazle Township residents can enjoy a variety of regional activities at venues throughout the region. Sporting events, concerts, skiing, water parks, amusement parks, bowling centers, movie theaters, whitewater rafting and more are just a short drive away.
Choose from activities and events such as:
- Amusement parks including Knoebels Amusement Resort, Hersheypark and Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom
- Races close to home at Mountain Speedway in nearby St. Johns, or two annual NASCAR races at Pocono International Racetrack
- A round of golf at courses including Sand Springs Country Club, Edgewood in the Pines, Sugarloaf Golf Club and Valley Country Club
- Skiing at Eagle Rock, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Sno Mountain, Camelback and others
- Hiking on the Appalachian Trail
- Seasonal festivals of all types
- Water parks at Camelbeach and Split Rock Resort
- Eckley Miners Village, where visitors can see how miners and their families lived during the 19th century
- State parks such as Nescopeck, Hickory Run and Tuscarora
- Watching the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at PNC Field
- Horse racing, table games, slot machines and an array of restaurants at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
Hazle Township is located within just a few hours of East Coast beaches, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. With so much to see and do, it’s a great place to call home!