A trail alongside Marsh Creek State Park enjoyed by Chester County neighbors for 30 years was closed off when a developer bought the ecologically-sensitive property, until a local mom organized 1,800 people to encourage a patchwork of state and local officials from both parties to unite and save it.
By the time the project was finished, $3.125 million had been raised, and politicians from both parties all the way up to the Pennsylvania governor had gotten involved to make it possible to purchase the land and preserve the 2.6 mile paved path. As Sharon O’Shaughnessy, founder of Friends of the Struble Trail, says, “Now wildlife and people will be able to enjoy this area for generations to come, because citizens organized and persuaded officials to work together.”
“It was complicated, because three municipalities and the Pennsylvania state government were involved. They couldn’t agree on how to divide the purchase when it initially came up for sale. Friends of the Struble Trail organized to systematically encourage township, county, and state officials to work together with local politicians to save the property.”
(Read more from the Chester County Op-Ed page )