An agreement has been reached to purchase 28.5 acres of land in Upper Uwchlan and Uwchlan townships owned by Shryock Brothers, Inc."The purchase of the property is an example of cooperation among Chester County, the landowners, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Upper Uwchlan and Uwchlan Townships and the Natural Lands Trust," said Carol Aichele, Chair of the Chester County Commissioners. Aichele cited State Representative Curt Schroder for his hard work on the project and also expressed thanks to Senators Rafferty and Dinniman for their support.
Chester County has committed $1.5 million to the $3.125 million purchase price while state and township funds are being confirmed.
Commissioner Terence Farrell commented, "Chester County's 31 miles of trails are used by thousands of residents and visitors to the County, and it is a system that is unparalleled in the Commonwealth. This agreement enhances the system and is welcome news for all who enjoy the beauty of the Struble Trail."
"Providing active recreation and preserving open space are important goals of the commissioners," Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said. "The Struble Trail is an important part of the county's trail system. I am pleased that we were able to move forward in extending the trail and am sure the many Chester County citizens who use the trail will be as pleased as I am."
The agreement of sale between the land owners and the Natural Lands Trust is contingent on government funding and approval of a subdivision plan. The land will eventually be owned by the County of Chester and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deal would allow for the Struble Trail to re-open. A parking area and access from the trail to nearby Marsh Creek State Park will be re-established, as well.
State Representative Curt Schroder said: "The preservation of the Shryock property will act as a buffer to Marsh Creek State Park by preventing development that would otherwise encroach on this important resource. It will return easy access to the dam wall at Marsh Creek thereby having a big safety benefit. Residents will now have uninterrupted use of the Struble Trail through this area. This agreement to preserve the property is a tremendous victory for those who care about the natural beauty and resources of Chester County.
"I wish to thank Natural Lands Trust for their efforts and for seeing this effort to fruition. I also wish to thank Secretary DiBerardinis of the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Chester County Commissioners and Upper Uwchlan and Uwchlan Townships for their support and hard work in this effort."
Under the terms of the agreement, the landowner will also grant a trail easement across a five-acre parcel which they would retain. The easement will allow the Struble Trail to cross their property and be expanded to the northwest.