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East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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I have copied an e-mail I received from the "Friends of Struble Trail". To summerize, Chester County and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources have pledged money toward purchase of the property along the East Brandywine SR section. Chester County Commissioners have earmarked $20 million for open space procurement; let them and the municipalities know that the Shryock property and its critical junction between the Struble Trail parkland and Marsh Creek State Park is land you want to see preserved! (The property last sold in 2005 for ~1.2 million dollars. Both Chester County and the State have each already pledged $500,000.) Let your Chester County and the Township supervisors know that the Struble Trail and access to the East Brandywine is worth investing in. Please contact our legislators. Here are the details:


We have waited for the right time; NOW is the time to email or phone officials as they are deciding how to negotiate the purchase of the Shryock Property!
Sample letter and email addresses for your local township officials follow
Forward this to your local friends and neighbors!

Dear Friends,

Now is the time ... today, NOW is the time for your input. Our local officials must know we support them in their efforts to buy the entire Shryock property, and not make zoning concessions just to get the trail access open. The increased flooding potential is especially troubling, but the recreation and special habitat losses are important too.

It takes only a minute to email or call:

1) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS! Commissioners Cozzone and Farrell are newly elected, and they MUST see personally the number of Chester County citizens who are following the outcome of these negotiations!

2) YOUR TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS! Upper Uwchlan, East Brandywine, and Uwchlan all have jurisdiction for parcels of this property. These supervisors need to know that you, their specific residents (and not just ‘people out there’) support their desire to see this property saved from development. Downingtown Borough also has a significant stake in the outcome.

Please see below for a sample letter you can cut and paste; a personal letter is even better if you take the time. Following the letter are email addresses you can copy into your address line, including those for your township administrators. Forward this to your local friends and neighbors! So few people actually have/take time to write a letter that every single person who writes will be an important voice heard!

We organized in late August to reopen the Struble Trail at the Shryock Paper Mill. The actions of one (potential) developer range from inconveniencing the thousands of people who use the trail and its access to Marsh Creek to perpetrating the serious safety threat posed by impeding stewardship of the Marsh Creek Dam and its 535 acres of water (at 43,560 cubic feet per acre foot) upstream of Downingtown.

Friends of the Struble Trail helped unite fishermen, hikers, runners, birders, bikers and other diverse trail users into one voice that could be heard above developers and their lawyers who have the deep pockets to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s organization into small municipalities. We have had successes … it is through our efforts that Chester County and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources have pledged money toward purchase of this property, and I believe that our support has helped Upper Uwchlan Township Supervisors thus far resist the developer’s demands to re-zone the property for higher density development and Uwchlan Township Supervisors to stand fast against the sewage capacity grab the owner has pursued.

Friends has been publicly patient as negotiations with the current owner continue. The website is receiving an enormous amount of mail, especially now that spring is here, wanting to know how to help this process. In this stage of the negotiations, the municipalities must know that we support them. Chester County Commissioners have earmarked $20 million for open space procurement; let them and the municipalities know that the Shryock property and its critical junction between the Struble Trail parkland and Marsh Creek State Park is land you want to see preserved! (The property last sold in 2005 for ~1.2 million dollars. Both Chester County and the State have each already pledged $500,000.)

Our voices together can help secure this property. F i n a l l y!

Sample Letter:


I support you in all efforts to secure the former Shryock paper mill property from development. The Struble Trail and its connection to Marsh Creek State Park is a very important issue for me. I have safety concerns for flooding and water quality downstream of Marsh Creek Dam. Whether we are birders or bikers or hikers or fishermen or runners, my neighbors and I appreciate the Struble Trail for its unique natural setting in the midst of Chester County development. I deeply appreciate its value to our township and our county. Please add my voice of support to save the paper mill property from development!

Thank you,



[Add your name and address! Officials want to know you live in their township and that they represent YOU personally.]


Copy & Paste:

County Commissioners:
<Caichele@chesco.org>, <Tfarrell@chesco.org>, <Kcozzone@chesco.org>,

And, especially if you reside in the townships below, ADD:

Upper Uwchlan Township Supervisors: Catherine Tomlinson, Kevin Kerr, Guy Donatelli

<GDonatelli@upperuwchlan-pa.gov>,<Ctomlinson@upperuwchlan-pa.gov>,<Kkerr@upperuwchlan-pa.gov>

East Brandywine Township Supervisors: Jay Fischer, Hudson Voltz, David Kirkner

<ebtwp@ebrandywine.org> (Township Email Address)

Uwchlan Township Supervisors: Joseph E. Toner, Milton H. Bozarth, Frederick W. Gaines

<lphiel@uwchlan.com> (Township Secretary)

Downingtown Borough: Steven Sullins, Borough Manager & Secretary, <ssullins@downingtown.org>

(Only Upper Uwchlan posts Supervisors’ email addresses on the township website!)

Posted on: 2008/4/7 11:22


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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I recieved a reponse from a Twp. Supervisor and from all three County Commissioners. They are reading their mail and each responded positively to my message. If you haven't yet sent them a message, please do so in the coming weeks. We need to preserve the area from development and keep it open to the public.

Posted on: 2008/4/10 15:44


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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Latest update. It looks like the Natural Lands Trust has reached an Agreement of Sale with the Shryock owners. Another piece of private land opened to public access for all.


http://friendsofthestrubletrail.org/

Posted on: 2008/6/20 14:44


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Awesome job afish, by you and everyone involved. Thanks for keeping us informed!

Posted on: 2008/6/20 16:08
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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Joined:
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From Chester County
Posts: 8995
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Thanks Pad, but I didn’t do much at all. I joined the “Friends of Struble Trail” and I signed the petition. I read their e-mails updating the situation. I sent some e-mails to the Borough officials, Township Supervisors, and County Commissioners. The whole thing took less than an hour of my time, but sometimes that’s all the time it takes if several thousand people do the same thing (especially around election time).

I urge everyone; when you see or hear of something that needs to be changed or get done, take a few minutes to get involved. SOMETIMES A LITTLE EFFORT BY A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN GET THINGS DONE.

Posted on: 2008/6/21 8:57


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access

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2006/9/9 22:44
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Here is an article that ran in the Inquirer yesterday re the agreement. Nice work by all those involved.

Chester County land trust resolves trail dispute

Posted on: 2008/6/21 11:58


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access

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2006/9/9 17:18
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This is exactly the kinds of things I like to hear. Good job to afish and all of those who got involved. We need more places like this.

Posted on: 2008/6/22 9:51
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Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access

Joined:
2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
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Those letters and EMails are paying off. There have been a couple of articles in the Daily Local on the ongoing negotiation with the developers, and today's headline http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?n ... G=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=8 tells of the continuing progress. The Friends of the Struble Trail did a big job in focusing the issue and generating support from a wide variety of folks.

The opening up of the fenced off area will probably cause the state to increase their stocking policy, although there are some wild browns in the EB.

tl
les

Posted on: 2008/7/27 10:47


Re: East Brandywine / Struble Trail Access
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8995
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Good to see something positive on the conservation / access front. This is a copy of an e-mail I received today from the Friends of the Struble Trail. Thanks to all that helped!



SUCCESS!!!

0519Shryock Property Settled In August, Now Owned by Natural Lands Trust!

Transfer to State and County Planned!

We Rock! Check out the Property You Saved with Your Letters and Donations!

In Neighboring News: Wallace Township Residents Need Help Fighting Proposed 600 Acre Development Site - Check out http://www.watchourwaters.org. Meeting tonight (Wed.) at 7:30 1250 Creek Rd, Glenmoore.


Dear Friends,
...We have accomplished our goal. On August 18th, Natural Lands Trust settled on the bulk of the Shryock property. Friends of the Struble Trail collected $2,515.00 toward the purchase. The house, mill property, and five surrounding acres remain under the ownership of the current owner, with an easement through it between the house and the mill for the trail continuance. This works for everyone; the County & State were pleased to leave the liability of whatever clean-up might be on the mill property with the current owner, and the placement of the trail keeps it on higher ground which means less flooding maintenance cost for the county. All the acreage behind the mill and house parcel will be added to Marsh Creek State Park. The trail head parking is preserved as well as County Park property. The parcels will be transferred to the State Park and Chester County in the near future.
This victory represents about a year of constant organization, with pressure on, (and support for) our local officials as obstacles were overcome with perseverance. It is gratifying beyond measure to see people using it, accessing Marsh Creek again off Dorlan's Mill Road at the dam, and taking my kids back into the pretty places where Marsh Creek spills into the East branch of the Brandywine. Joe Delaney, who sets out seasonal bird boxes, took me on a guided tour, and I am eager to see the wintering bluebirds when they congregate. The 'bike guys' as I have affectionately come to know them, have offered to help blaze the planned trail through the mill property and up the hill into the park, so you won't have to use Dorlan's Mill Road anymore if you don't like mixing with cars. So we're not finished yet, but the heavy lifting for this piece of the trail has certainly been completed with gusto.
Many people made this happen. Without Rep. Curt Schroder, and his proactive mailings to people who expressed interest in the project, I would never have known the key time to decide to become involved. His constant championing, willingness to open his appointment book and his office to meetings, and helpful communication were key to everything accomplished. He was my first big 'get' for the Rally in September, and I know that helped gain the confidence of the other elected officials that we had enough community support that they had to pay attention. Rep. Schroder's assistant, Becky Corbin, has also been genuinely terrific. Catherine Tomlinson, Upper Uwchlan Twp. Supervisor, was the one supervisor who unfailingly supported this project, and if she had not been on the council, I believe they would have caved to the developer before we had a chance to get involved. If she had her way, Upper Uwchlan would have orchestrated the sale the first time around and saved us all a lot of money. That took guts to keep her stand, and all of us who enjoy the property and value the water quality & habitat are in her debt. Carol Aichele also supported the project, and her willingness to take calls and (along with John Mikowychok) act on timely information where the County Parks Department needed to get involved were important as well. And finally in the major players, Jack Steffarud of Natural Lands Trust has my undying admiration for his unworldly patience in the land owner negotiations. He must really believe in the importance of this crucial property bridge between parks to deal with the fits and starts of this exasperating process.
I know it's boring to read a long thank you list, but I ask your grace in a case like this where so much had to come together...without the local environmental supporters Sen. Schroder & I invited to his office for that first meeting last August that got us running (Robert Lonsdorf of Brandywine Conservancy; Dick Whiteford of Defenders of Wildlife; Martin Page of the WC Bird Club; John Johnson, past Pres. of WC Fish, Game & Wildlife; Steve Duckinfield, local mountain biker; Sandy Moser, Gary & Susan Erb of WC Running Club), Brian 'Sure, you can design a website!' Poppe, and his wife Suzann, who designed our logo gratis; Rally speakers (Holly Merkel, avian census taker; Ray Crossen, Civil Engineer; John Johnson; Rep. Curt Schroder, Sen. Andy Dinniman's COS Stephannie McLimans, and Richard Sprenkle, past Deputy Dir. of DCNR), Commisioners Aichele, Cozzone, and Farrell, (who were receptive and approved the county funding); Sen. John Rafferty (who sponsored the PA Capital funding), DCNR officials Lori Nygard and Michael DiBerardinis, Sen. Andy Dinniman, and finally, Gov. Rendell himself who signed the line item in the budget, we would certainly not have been successful. And don't forget to join GreenValleys.org, whose 11th hour sponsorship of the unexpected insurance requirement saved the Rally. Green Valleys is a wonderfully run, effective organization.
Our group, Friends of the Struble Trail, wrote letters and made phone calls to all of these people, in an orchestrated manner as we needed them to pay attention...in a civilized, helpful way that let them help their constituents. And a quiet thank you as well goes to all the people whose jobs make it impossible to publicly share their knowledge where there might be political ramifications, but who found ways to educate me so we learned crucial environmental information we needed to be persuasive. Special thanks to Vanguard, Pook & Pook, and Mauger for their large donations...and to all of you, from the $10 checks to $100, who participated with your pocketbooks. We made a difference, and every time you or your children or their children use this trail, we will know we had a part in preserving it. There's a Settlement Map on our website...Go out and hike the (now) state park land. It's humbling and so cool that we helped save it!
Sharon
P.S. Wallace Township upstream on the Brandywine is fighting the same fight, on a Much Larger scale - 600 acres! See http://www.watchourwaters.org to learn about it. The developer's site is http://valhallabrandywine.com/discover/index.php/view/the_property Chester County asked Wallace supervisors to put the brakes on zoning variances to allow more evaluation, but the supervisors elected not to. The only way to fight it, as we did, is to go to township meetings and express distress. Theirs is tonight at 7:30 in the Wallace Twp. building at 1250 Creek Rd. in Glenmoore.

Posted on: 2008/9/25 9:25






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