Open Space Committee

MeetingsOpen Space

  • The open space committee meets at 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month in the Township Building

Members

  • Paddy Neilson
  • Eric Brown
  • Tina Skinner
  • Dominique Boddorff
  • Anne Hannum
  • Jock Hannum
  • Lewis Wilkinson
  • David Sweet, Consultant

Establishment

This Committee was formed in January of 2005 to preserve open space in London Grove Township. The Township believes that the preservation of open space is vital to the community and the standard of living in London Grove Township. It is as much a part of a thriving community’s infrastructure as roads and utilities are.

Responsibilities

The Committee, along with professional consultants, the public and the Board of Supervisors created a plan to preserve open space. The plan focuses primarily on the purchase or donation of open space and agricultural easements. Acquisition costs are funded by the Open Space Earned Income Tax (OSEIT). This tax is set at 0.25% of income earned. Since the inception of the OSEIT, a total of approximately 400 acres have been preserved via conservation easements.

Mission

The Open Space Committee’s mission is to identify, develop, and represent the open space interests of London Grove Township.

Goal

The committee’s goal is to secure the maximum feasible amount of permanently protected open space land within London Grove Township through a variety of public and private mechanisms, in concert with the future plans and policies of the Township and its landowners

Objectives

The Open Space Committee will pursue its goal through a variety of its own actions and in coordination with other groups and organizations. Its specific objectives include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Identify and prioritize those open space areas of the Township that warrant protected status for purposes of environmental benefit, natural features protection, and/or agriculture.
  • Recommend and help coordinate additional Township mapping that will facilitate the inventory and analysis of lands targeted for protection
  • Develop a public education and outreach campaign, using newsletter, website, information meetings, individual contacts, etc. for supporting the protection of open space within the Township.
  • Participate, in concert with other London Grove Township committees and groups, in implementing the open space recommendations in the ’02 and ’05 addenda to the Township Comprehensive Plan, particularly with respect to open space protection measures and greenway corridor protection measures. Maintain close coordination with the Parks and Recreation Board regarding trail and greenway planning and the securing and protection of open space for recreation purposes.
  • Conduct, as part of an overall Township strategy, landowner contacts to secure open space and greenway protection through acquisition, easement donation, and/or landowner agreements/commitments to land management techniques.
  • Develop a plan for public purchase of open space lands or easements within the Township over the next 10 years (i.e., funds needed, sources of funding, etc.)
  • Develop and help initiate specific open space techniques and programs, including:
    • Ongoing Township participation in the County Agricultural Lands Preservation Board’s Challenge Grant program
    • Establishment of a London Grove Township Land Trust
    • Members participate in site walks and site plan reviews with other Township personnel and prospective developers re: proposals for subdivision or land development, to identify open space, resource protection, etc.
  • Develop conceptual plans for protection and management of potential open space areas and parcels in conjunction with other Township committees and groups and outside agencies, as appropriate.
  • Establish working relationships with groups (e.g. White Clay Wild and Scenic Management Committee, Brandywine Conservancy, Natural Lands Trust, etc.) that have an interest in protecting London Grove’s open space and natural resources from further encroachment by development activities.

Maps

An important layer of information used by the Township’s Open Space Committee is the Protected Lands Map (PDF). Parcels under permanently protected status represent several categories of private and public action. Most prominent among these are:

  • Agricultural easements sold to the Chester County Agricultural Lands Preservation Board
  • Private conservation easements donated to a land trust such as the Brandywine Conservancy
  • Land in public ownership, including the Township’s Goddard Park and Avon Grove School District properties

Taken together, these properties comprise a nucleus of protected lands around which the Open Space Committee can identify additional open space protection initiatives with landowners. Adjacency to protected land is one important criterion in evaluating such lands, as protected open space corridors can yield enhanced resource benefits in terms of habitat, water quality, scenic landscape enhancement, and the like. The combined acreage of the properties shown on the Protected Lands Map is 3,081, or 27% of the total acreage in the Township.

Value of Protected Open Space

Read theĀ economic value of protected open space in southeastern Chester County.