LONDON BRITAIN TOWNSHIP LAND TRUST

Mason Dixon Greenway



A brief history of the lands bordering Flint Hill, Stricklersville, and Elbow Roads:

• 1975: Maryland acquired 5613 acres as Fair Hill Natural Management Resource Area. The land is just south of the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.  It starts at the western end of London Britain Township and continues to Elk Township.

• 1984: The DuPont Company donated almost 1700 acres to the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware.

From this time forward the concept of a connecting animal corridor between White Clay and Fair Hill to help in decreasing the fragmentation of habitat became a constant goal among members of several organizations within the township.

In the 1990's White Clay Watershed Association conducted a study to determine if an animal corridor could be created to connect the White Clay Preserve with Fair Hill. The open land left indicated that this corridor had to go through London Britain Township as all other areas were too built up to create the 400 foot wide corridor recommended at that time.

In 2000 the two subdivisions that comprise the Southern end of the Greenway were presented to the Board of Supervisors

• In the process of negotiation the township purchased Lot #5 from the Cunningham/Bristows with a grant from Chester County.

• The Open Space in Flint Hill Crossing is a result of Subdivision Ordinance Requirements and an agreement with the developer to eliminate 20 houses on the west side in favor of a tax write off for value given.

In 2006 Master Site Plan was developed for the development of the two sites using grant money from the State. A Master Site Plan was developed using public money, required public input, meetings, and included all the “pie-in-the-sky” things that might be wanted. It took between six months to a year to develop but this Plan is required if any County and State money were to be used in actual development.

In the early 2007 Grant money was obtained from Chester County and Pennsylvania to develop "Greenway South." This was to include establishment of a meadow to help control invasive plants, limited tree planting, mowed trails and creation of a parking lot and a handicapped trail and overlook.

2011 sees the completion of the development achieved with the development grant.

This is a very long-term project with limited funding that will be ongoing – for years.


Overall Timeline for connecting Greenway:

1960 - A dam is proposed for White Clay Creek to create a water supply reservoir.

1965 - Citizen opposition to the dam results in the incorporation of the White Clay Watershed Association.

1975 - Maryland acquires 5613 acres as Fair Hill Natural Management Resource Area

Mid 1970s - Plans for a White Clay Creek dam are abandoned amidst opposition from citizens, United Auto Workers' members, and conservation organizations as well as new studies predicting lower future water needs.

1984 - The DuPont Company donates almost 1700 acres to the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware for inclusion in the White Clay Creek Bi-state Preserve to ensure its protection.

 From this time forward the concept of a connecting animal corridor between White Clay and Fair Hill is ever present. Creating such a corridor would connect the Delaware Bay Watershed to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in an effort stop some of the fragmentation of habitat.

 1980’s — White Clay Watershed Association conducts a study to determine if connecting White Clay Preserve with Fair Hill can create an animal corridor to connect the White Clay with the Christiana and Elk Rivers. The open land left indicated that this corridor had to go through London Britain Township as all other areas were too built up to create the 400 foot wide corridor recommended at that time. (The recommended width has since expanded to 1000 feet.)

1991 – Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) is passed. Among other things this law includes planning for Open Space and Open Space opportunities. The connecting Greenway is on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission as an open space opportunity, and helps us with State Grants when the Township or Land Trust applies for.

2000 - White Clay Creek is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River. 2000 — London Britain Township Land Trust created.

2000 — Flint Hill Crossing and Cunningham/Bristow Subdivisions presented to Board of Supervisors. In the process of negotiation the township purchases Lot #5 from the Cunningham/Bristows with a grant from Chester County to the Land Trust in exchange for an easement in favor of the Land Trust. The Open Space in Flint Hill Crossing is a result of Subdivision Ordinance Requirements and an agreement with the developer to eliminate 20 houses on the west side in favor of a tax write off for value given. An endowment to the Land Trust for Flint Hill Crossing is contributed by the developer. The endowment principle must remain for perpetuity so only interest received on the principle is available to be spent to maintain and enhance the property.

Acquisition of the above property creates one mile of the proposed connecting greenway of the 4 miles that are needed within London Britain Township.

2004 - Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) trees are planted. This is a Federal Program designed to protect creeks from deterioration and silt runoff. The Government rents the ground for 15 years, and pays for planting the trees. Three years were required to put this program in place with the USDA.

2006's — A Master Site Plan was developed for the development of the two sites using grant money from the State. A Master Site Plan was developed using public money, required public input, meetings, and included all the “pie-in-the-sky” things that might be wanted. It took between six months to a year to develop but this Plan is required if any County and State money were to be used in actual development.

2007's — Grant money is obtained from Chester County and Pennsylvania to develop "Greenway South." By the end of 2011, this program has almost completed round #1 of development but also comes with the end of these grant monies.

The above only discusses the one mile of the western end of the Greenway. It does not discuss the 2.5 miles that have been put under conservation easement on the eastern end, or the 300 plus or minus acres that are in agricultural easements, and other types of conservation easements throughout the township.



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