I am delighted to inform you of another big win in the campaign to preserve the Barclay Grounds. Yesterday the Chester County Commissioners voted unanimously to increase the County’s grant for the Barclay Grounds from the $125K that they awarded earlier this year … to $250K.
We have now raised more than $1 million dollars in the past 12 months to preserve the Barclay Grounds – and are within reach of raising the $1.2 million needed to complete the purchase!!!
This is a tremendous accomplishment and something that we should all be very proud of. Please know that, as with previous votes, the presence of BGPA supporters in the meeting room was important – as were the many e-mails that you collectively sent to the Commissioners. Commissioner Costello – who Chaired his last two meetings of the County Commissioners yesterday, as he has resigned in order to take up his new role as the US Congressman for this area – told me how important the e-mails were in helping him make his decision to increase the grant. He also complimented us, as a group, for having run such an effective and responsible public advocacy campaign on behalf of the Barclay Grounds.
Of course we did not accomplish all this alone and I would like to express my gratitude for all their hard work on this issue to State Senator Andy Dinniman and his staff; State Representative Dan Truitt, Mayor Carolyn Comitta; Council President Jordan Norley and the West Chester Borough Council (especially Bill Scott, in whose Ward the Barclay Grounds is situated); the Brandywine Conservancy; the Natural Lands Trust; and last but not least the new Borough Manager, Michael Cotter.
So, now that the State and the County have really come through, it is time for all of us, as supporters of the BGPA, to make good on our commitment to raise up to $200K. As we enter the final weeks of the tax year it is an ideal time for you to think about making a donation to the BGPA (which now has 501(c)3 status), as donations made before 12/31/14 may be deductible on your 2014 tax return. You can make a donation using a credit card or an existing PayPal account by copying the link below and pasting it into the address line of your web-browser. If you prefer to pay by check, the directions for where to send your check, are also included on the page at this address.
We can think of the campaign to SaveTheBarclayGrounds as having three major phases. The first phase was to raise awareness, mobilize the community, halt the development and encourage the council to buy the property. The second was to maximize the County and State grant awards. We are now entering the third phase – to raise sufficient funding to meet our commitment to the Borough and help it complete the purchase. We have been successful with the first two components – and working together I know we will be successful with the third.
President, The Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance (BGPA)