Eagle Scout project to improve Pennsbury Park

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Discussion continues with Springdale Farm buyer

By Kris Firey-Poling, Correspondent, The Times

PennsburyEagleProject

Bradley Heacock displays his proposal for projects at Pennsbury’s township park as part of an Eagle Scout project, Wednesday night.

PENNSBURY — Have you ever visited the township’s 54-acre park? At Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, resident and Unionville High ninth grader Bradley Heacock presented a park improvement proposal to be used as his Eagle Scout service project.

“I have enjoyed hanging out at the park. However, when walking my dog, I noticed that the pond area is overgrown and difficult to access. I would like to improve this area of the park,” said Heacock. “Specifically, I would like to clear the path around the pond, remove the current footbridge, and construct a new, five-foot wide footbridge.”

He explained that these improvements would encourage more visitors, improve aesthetics, and create a safe passage around the pond. Heacock will provide all materials and labor; there will be no cost to the township.

The supervisors praised Heacock’s organized and articulate presentation. They were very supportive of the project, and encouraged him to work with Roadmaster David Allen. The anticipated date for project completion is late September.

In other news, a potential buyer for Springdale Farm wants to keep 50 horses on the property and to be allowed to have 12 horse shows a year. Currently, the 60-acre farm is allowed 39 horses.

Springdale Farm is part of the Mendenhall family property and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The property includes a recently added 24-stall barn and indoor riding arena.

“I’m concerned about the 12 horse shows per year. Most horse farms have two to four shows per year,” stated Supervisors Chairman Scotty Scottoline. “What do these shows involve, and how many people attend?”

Representatives from Springdale Farms estimated 60 people per show, stating that the neighbors are fine with the shows. They explained that the buyer is experienced in the equine industry, and is willing to refurbish and upgrade the property.

After lengthy discussion, the board of supervisors agreed to talk to the neighbors near Springdale Farms. They also requested more specific information, such as what the horse shows involve and how will the horses be taken care of.

Supervisor Wendell Fenton said that he is pleased that the farm will be preserved and not subdivided. All of the supervisors acknowledged that they are not trying to make this transaction difficult, yet want what is best for the township.

Planning Commission Chair Dennis Smith reported that Ann Hutchinson, of the conservation organization Natural Lands Trust, recently presented to his committee, providing feedback on their riparian buffers ordinances. Riparian buffers are vegetated areas near streams that help shade and protect a stream from the impact of adjacent land uses and helps with water quality.

“We recently attended a riparian buffers and water quality meeting with other municipalities. The presenters asked for volunteers to have their ordinances reviewed for feedback. We volunteered Pennsbury,” said Smith. “Ann told us that our ordinances are quite good. She also provided some recommendations for how we can strengthen our language. The committee supported these amendments.”

Smith said that it was a great opportunity to accept help at no cost to the township, as it was paid for by a William Penn Foundation grant.

During public comments, resident Mary Short reported that three quarters of an acre on Parkers Preserve was bulldozed, disturbing a walking trail, trees, and vegetation.

According to Short, builder Anthony Dambro said that the township approved the land disturbance. Apparently, no one at the township approved this act.

Supervisors Vice-Chairman Aaron McIntyre said it was “very disturbing.” He thanked Short for bringing this issue to the meeting.

Township staff will visit the site and take pictures of the cleared land.

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