The First State (Delaware) has finally gotten it’s first National Park! Hooray! Major victory! Preserving land! Enter a development group called Woodlawn Trustees.
The park known locally as “The Valley,” but more formally as “Beaver Valley” is west of 202/Concord Pike on the Pennsylvania/Delaware border. Beaver Valley is known for its beauty, recreational wonders, historic significance, and ecologic values. Beaver Valley has remained undeveloped since 1683, offering hundreds of acres of trails that have been used for generations. The property boasts several horse farms, open fields of hay for local stables, a winery and vineyard, woodlands, and streams which feed the Brandywine river.
Before 2012, the 771 acres owned by Woodlawn Trustees had been protected as a wildlife refuge for, in some cases, over 50 years. The open space supports bald eagles, owls, hawks, fox, deer, raccoons, skunks, turtles, and birds. This area includes wetlands, steep slopes, rare plants, bog turtle habitat and trails. “The Valley” also provides walkers, runners, horse and bicycle riders with a place to go to enjoy nature.
On October 2, 2012 Concord Township Board of Supervisors held a rezoning hearing about 325 acres of their land in Beaver Valley. The purpose was to accommodate for a few different types of developers:
– Wilson (commercial)
– McKee and Concord Homes (residential)
– Eastern States Development (active adult)
– Woodlawn Trust (common open space)
If zoning laws are successfully changed, hundreds of acres of Beaver Valley will be lost to 3 large residential developments (400+ houses) and an 180,000 square foot commercial (big box) building.
According to SaveTheValley.org, “the land at stake adjoins the newly recognized National Monument in Delaware and Chester County. Developers are attempting to purchase this land and change zoning laws so that it may be bulldozed and built upon before the remainder of the land joins our new National Monument.”
This plan would cause a loss of open space, increased air, water, light and noise pollution, as well as, an extremely negative impact on wildlife and local ecosystems.
I think the development plan for Beaver Valley would cause much more than that. If we allow for developers to build on preserved land, we set a precedent for all other developers to do the same in all other parks. One park in Delaware/Pennsylvania has implications for National Parks through the United States. I believe this to be a national issue and that community action must be taken to prevent Beaver Valley from being bulldozed.
What can you do to help Save the Valley?
- Educate yourself on the issue. Visit www.SaveTheValley.org.
- “Like” Save The Valley on Facebook to stay up-to-date on events and news.
- Sign the petition. I am number 3,433, what number will you be?
- If you are local: Attend the Zoning Meeting on May 14th at 7 PM at the Garnet Valley Middle School [click for map] RSVP on www.SaveTheValley.org.