The Frank W. Kocher Memorial Park provides a variety of recreational opportunities for Columbia County and the surrounding area. A Growing Greener grant helped develop the park, with an emphasis on accessibility so that young children and individuals with disabilities can fish, play, and enjoy nature. There are few, if any, similar opportunities within the region. The park is also unique because it provides visitors with the opportunity to experience indigenous ecosystems.
Since the park opened to the public, recreational use by the community has been very encouraging. Many individuals with disabilities, elderly residents, and young children have used the park on a regular basis. Overall, there has been a wonderful response from park visitors.
The park is adjacent to a well-traveled public road with excellent exposure from a bridge. The stream frontage offers opportunities for people of all abilities to access Fishing Creek. Since public access to streams in the area is limited, this park is a valuable tool for both formal and informal environmental education. The park sits at the lowest point on Fishing Creek that is currently stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, which ensures an excellent angling experience for disadvantaged residents and young children.
“Located on Fishing Creek, the Frank Kocher Park is a very unique park. To our knowledge there is not another handicapped accessible park that features a fishing area that courageous handicapped people will find quite accessible,” said Chuck Chapman, former President of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association. “Moreover, we have constructed a wetland for educational purposes with accessible trails where all people can enjoy watching hundreds of trees, flowers, and shrubs native to northeast Pennsylvania.”