We are pleased to announce that we will share one new photo of Barclay Park each month from a different photographer. Our May photo was taken by Chris Lang.
This is the website of the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance, a group of volunteers whose mission is to preserve the beautiful, historic and ecologically important Barclay Grounds for the enjoyment of current residents and visitors to the Borough of West Chester – and for future generations.
The property was previously known as the Joshua Hartshorne Estate and is the only one of West Chester’s 19th century estates that has not been sub-divided and built on. The entire block (bordered by N. High St., W. Marshall St., W. Virginia Ave. and N. Church St.) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which states that the “park-like grounds” are home to “one of the finest collections of specimen trees in West Chester”. Early in 2013 the southern part of the block was sub-divided into four lots to be sold off as residential building lots.
The Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance (BGPA) was formed to raise public awareness of the potential loss of this important site to the community. A petition was launched which generated over 2,100 signatures calling on West Chester Borough Council to save the Barclay Grounds. As a result of this broad public support the Borough Council voted on December 30th, 2013 to purchase the Barclay Grounds to make it a public park. The purchase was, however, dependent on receiving sufficient public grants and private donations to cover the purchase price.
To ensure the Barclay Grounds would be saved the BGPA guaranteed to cover up to $200,000 of any shortfall between the amount of grants received and the purchase price for the property. The BGPA paid for the initial downpayment on the property and for grant applications to be written (which secured almost a million dollars in County and State grants). In order to meet the Borough’s deadline for the closing on the property the BGPA donated the $60,000 that we had raised by that date and took out a loan for the additional $140,000 to fulfill our guarantee. We are now raising money to pay off that loan … and ask for your support.
Help Save The Barclay Grounds
If every resident of the Borough contributed $7 we could pay off this loan today. Will you help to preserve this beautiful and historic open space in the Borough of West Chester?
“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” – Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac