Welcome to SaveTheBarclayGrounds.org

Spring. As the sun rises, casting its golden rays over the awakening world, Barclay Park transforms into a symphony of colors and fragrances, heralding the arrival of spring. Cherry blossoms, delicate and pale pink, sway gently in the soft breeze, showering the ground with their petals like confetti. The air is alive with the sweet melody of chirping birds, their vibrant plumage adding splashes of color to the lush greenery. Families and friends gather beneath the shade of blossoming trees, picnicking on blankets spread out on the soft, freshly-mowed grass. Children laugh and play, their joy echoing through the tranquil surroundings. Everywhere you look, life bursts forth in a celebration of renewal and vitality, reminding all who wander through this enchanting scene of the beauty and resilience of nature.Spring has sprung.

The 1867 gate, standing as a historical sentinel at the park’s entrance, becomes a portal to a beautiful spring scene.

If you like this photo, we welcome photos of the park from you to publish as part of our our photo of the month slide show. Please, contact us if you would like to submit one of your photos.

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 down payment 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.

An anonymous benefactor loaned $140,000 to the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance (BGPA) to reach the total price required for the purchase. The loan was interest free. Since then the BGPA has been able to raise and pay off $27,000, so the loan still has an outstanding balance of $113,000. The Board and creditor have decided that the time is now to retire this debt. Other anonymous benefactors have offered to match any contributions to reduce this debt if made before the year end. In a subsequent newsletter in November, we will present in more detail the year end campaign for contributions to reduce the debt so it can then be retired.

Help Save The Barclay Grounds

Did you know that 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?

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“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

Barclay in Bloom ~ photo credit: Tom Caldwell

Barclay in Bloom ~ photo credit: Tom Caldwell