NEW GARDEN — There will be no more putting, chipping and driving at the 105-acre Loch Nairn golf course following the 2022 season. The Farmhouse restaurant, famous for its crab meals, will stay open.
The land will likely be preserved for public use.
“While there is no finalized plan, its most important role is the preservation of a pristine watershed,” said New Garden Township Manager Ramsey Reiner. “The goal is to ensure the preservation of the property from any future development and to allow for public access and enjoyment for all generations to come.”
The property is owned by the Smedley Family.
The sale price was $1.425 million. A Chester County grant has been secured for $863,000. Five additional grants were applied for through Natural Lands Trust. The Mars Foundation also contributed.
H.C. Smedley built the golf course in 1979. His love of Scotland and its many lakes (lochs) and ponds led to a course designed with 11 water holes. Smedley also planted 700 trees.
The township has been busy preserving open space.
Three years ago, the 137-acre, St. Anthony in the Hills property was purchased primarily for a pool facility and park, with 1,000 parking spots, for $1.5 million. The facility with a large pool, in-ground hot tub and private cabanas will likely open in July.
Fifty seasonal employees will be hired at the summertime oasis, just north of Somerset Lake, at the intersection of Route 41 and Route 7.
The late Rev, Roberto Balducelli designed the property as a public park and sanctuary for inner-city Wilmington children.
“Because of the generosity of the Smedley family and the thoughtful care with which they maintained this pristine parcel of land, New Garden Township will continue on as guardian of this property in order to ensure its safety from future development," said New Garden Board chairman Pat Little in a statement. "While the specifics of future park use for the property will be decided in time, this will absolutely continue to be a cornerstone of Chester County."
Jim Jordan is executive director/CEO of the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance and said that open space attracts people to Chester County.
“I’m a firm believer that not everything can be preserved but not everything can be developed,” Jordan said. “Open space is critical to the quality of life of the residents of Chester County.
“Investing in the environment, open space and clean water has a huge return on the investment.”