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.
Residents of the Borough of West Chester and the surrounding region formed the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance (BGPA) to raise public awareness of the potential loss of this important site in 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 and the support of Senator Dinniman, Mayor Comitta, several members of Borough Council and area historical, ecological and environmental preservation organizations the Borough Council voted on December 30th, 2013 to purchase the Barclay Grounds to make it a public park. The purchase is, however, dependent on receiving enough grants and public donations to cover the purchase price by December 2015.
“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
The purpose of this website is to:
- Increase awareness in the community of the opportunity to preserve this unique property so that it is not lost to housing development
- Raise the private donations needed to supplement the anticipated public grants sufficiently to enable the Borough to purchase the Barclay Grounds and preserve them
- Provide interested individuals with a way to get involved in these preservation efforts