Parks And Open Space
Land Use and Green Space in Our Township
What is it ? Where is it? How will it affect
We hope you will send us
details or links to relevant sites about the below projects.
notify us if you see
Safeguarding our greenspace means making sure that they are open to the public
and are kept as close to "green" as possible . The trend in our Township is to
acquire, acquire, acquire and then to build structures on it . Our
Township is 98 % developed . Our greenspace is the last hope to keep
it nice. It is up to us to weigh in on what's happening .
Open Space Funds in General
In addition to other Open Space purchases, Montgomery
County (in perhaps 06 or 07? ) acquired 100 million for its most
recent Open Space Program . The plan was for 1/2 of that to go
back to the townships and 1/2 to be used by the county.
Abington's portion was $2.95 million which required a 20%
match by the township in order to use. Elsewhere it was reported
that the total Abington program was 3.7 million ...Will
try to find which is correct.
The Boy Scout Preserve -
AKA Meadowbrook Nature Preserve -
please see separate page
Brief Summary : Gifted by Alice Herkness in 1947 - this
gift was left to languish. By 2018 it was covered in vines,
large majestic trees all dying or dead . All pleas to care
for it were ignored until finally in the 2018 Budget $25,000 was
allotted and ......used to blanket spray pesticides ----turning
the entire section brown and dead and plant some saplings
practically on top of one another . In such scenarios the
insects are poisoned, the birds that eat them are often then
poisoned, as are the mammals that eat the birds.
Pesticides ( herbicides are included in this term) are
completely contradictory to any proper management of a nature
preserve. In November 2019 - the Township was without a
proper Parks director -- and a Public Works person had been put
in charge of Parks. He went in, at the cusp of winter (we
had just had a first light snow) with the "mini-bulldozer" skids
and cleared every living thing down to the mud on nearly every
portion until we got the saws and dozers silenced -
fortunately with a few sections of brush still able to serve as
cover and food ---
please see separate page
for more details and
off Maple Ave.
the study was done by land concepts, Inc. in 2008, and it was
determined that this area was not suitable to put ball fields.
It was suitable for nature trails and very possibly the
driveway. That leads into it from Maple Avenue, could be
expanded at me and to include parking for six to eight cars to
accommodate more access. There is a variety of different flora
and fauna in this area, including an abundance of deer.
In 2011 they proposed to build a PAL multiplex
on this greenspace -- residents were not happy. We
surveyed the neighbors and they were in favor of a community
building but not a police complex ...... A small group of
people began working on a plan for a community center - For
approx $1.6 million we could build a center with a basketball
court ( inddor recreation in the winter ) and computer rooms ,
kitchen and meeting spaces . Meanwhile the HUD director, Van
Strother, ignoring any possibility of working together or in
concert in the least, procured HUD monies to build what turned
out to be just a 2500 sq ft building with one meeting room a
small kitchen and bathrooms . Keep in mind the land was not
included - and sewer & water access was already
there, as it was buildt on the site of the roundhouse.
Keep in mind that we already did have use of the roundhouse
before this went up - so that use is not "in addition" to
the former use, but instead of.... Repairs to the
roundhouse could have preserved that use. There is a small room
that is serving as an office for Van Stother, himself. The
cost of theis approx 2500 sq ft building was $600 a sq ft ---
double or triple what it should have been - and it provided one
room and a porch that residents, we are told have to pay
$75 to use --- even though we paid ( dearly) for anyone
else who uses it ---- so our tax money is going
to pay for facilities for non-profits that those who pay
have no right to use..... What's wrong with that picture????
1385 Easton Rd- The Grove
Property in Roslyn
Bought with Open Space funds in one of the most convoluted
processes I have ever seen, with a real live human being caught in the
middle of all of it. Besides it being absurd to buy "Open Space" with Township funds that has many buildings on it and is in
the heart of the business district and would remove a
prospective earing property from the tax rolls. The Township then,
after the very costly acquisition, decided to perform costly historic renovation
ont he property -
claiming it to be the oldest property in the Township -
though that "recognition" was absent while they were
transferring ownership from the elderly owner. Then they
declared they would likely house possibly a Library, (with a
premier Library a little more than a mile or two away) or Historic Society or other
"community " enterprizes there --- effectively turning it into a
non-profit business venture at great expense to the public.
The Shade Tree Commission (and the Environmental Advisory
Council?) In my opinion this was an
incredibly egregious action, especially including all the details of the
purchase. It was bought on 1-10-08 wfor approx $485,000,
which negotiations began months
after the property was sold for approx $276 K on 3-12-07
. Of the $485K , $97K was Township money and
of this was County open space grant . An appraisal came in
February of '08 for $555,000....
Feb 4-08 – $2, 700 was approved for an environmental study
was the estimated cost of razing the 3 buildings that were
unwanted - they hoped for 80/20 split with the county on that
It was to ultimately be deed restricted Open Space – 485,000
purchase + 65,000 raise buildings + 2700 environmental study -
and of course there were costs for legal reviews and the code
and engineering personnel etc etc etc
There is zero information posted on
the Township website about There those costly aquisition
details as of the end of 2019 about the cost to
aquire, renovate and maintain this property on our website. A great expense with very little use.
Jackson Park -
off Meadowbrook Rd near Hampton
Bought for somewhere around $600,000 ? with 80/20 Open Space
The part of this park that is on the more public road does not
currently have any parking or access - so it is used largely by
the nearby neighbors with the access on the neighborhood street.
We asked for a sign to show where users of this park should park their cars
to enter - and instead Commissioner KLline arrand for an ugly
green official looking sign that just added to the sign
pollution on the roadside saying Jackson Park .... and still not
deaignating hwere the parking was. The park already had an
identifying sign in the attractive wood design - the green
road sign should be removed.
Rydal Green - bought as
Former Clubhouse - razed ( 2010? ) This parcel sits nest to Rydal
School which is already a large public property with a great
green field area and some planted areas, groves and playgrounds.
Manor Woods ( formerly Summerford
) - near Alverthorpe & Manor College
There is a major issue with how this "greenspace was acquired. Like
the Grove Fund, there was another party briefly involved, and
even though there was a sewer moratorium at the time ( because
it runs to Cheltenham's system) the Township nonetheless
allowed a rezoning - supposedly increasing the value of
the property...even though it was exactly the same except for
the rezoning. The township then bought it at a far inflated
price ..... leaving the rezoners with a handsome profit.
January 2012 A good number of residents showed up to voice their
opposition to the township’s plans for Manor Woods, which
included one plan for a football field or an alternate one
that would leave the park largely intact except for picnic
tables trails, etc.
Residents were concerned about parking , noise, lights etc if
the Abington Raiders were to use it for a football "home field"
Kevin Leech, Raiders team president, said that their current
field at Alverthorpe is in bad shape. Earlier there had been
reports of a possible stadium. The Raiders, however, did not
apparently ask for a stadiu, an equipment room, a snack bar and
a well groomed field . While it might be possible that a
stadium for other teams ( baseball or lacrosse or soccer) might
be in some phase of the discussions with the township, the
Raiders are not the ones who requested one. Although all
personnel are volunteer and the budget they have have goes to
things like Jerseys, helmets supplies and various field or
associated supplies or improvements, there is still a lot of
"business " done in the process of running sports clubs.
There is a problem with a shortage of
fields in the Township for township sports teams. There is also
the issue of Open Space purchases being bought as Open Space
with Grant Funds and then converted to other uses.
This situation also highlighted the issue
of communication and how many people actually KNOW about
meetings like this one for Manor Woods. Then there is the issue
of how these things impact the neighborhoods upon which they
encroach. Finally, there is the issue of priorities and whether
basic township needs have been addressed , like infrastructure
repairs to keep people from flooding, before we boost the
"secondary" or wish list benefits
Many residents asserted that they were not
interested in having the Township convert the park into
anything new. We have a township building something in nearly
every corner of the town.
Residents wanted no plans without more input from themselves and
were promised by the Ward 4 Commissioner that would be the case
and said Commissioners would not vote in favor of any plan
opposed by residents.
Doug Wendell said the township would provide maintenance to the
park, regarding plant species and trees on the verge of
falling, either way There will be more meetings with residents
before a potential plan is brought forth .
Pembryn Park -
Hunter Soccer Club 2010 (?) built a 1/2
million dollar clubhouse there with township funds, in
combination with county,state or federal funds and funds that
they had raised. Nearly a million dollars would be the
cost to shuffle around some fields & courts for the soccer
club - The funds were not available - but the project was
Send your the
Sign up here to receive our periodic Newsloop updates on issues that matter to us all.
Knowledge is power. Stay informed to help shape your community & make a difference.
Abington Township revamped their entire website at the end of 2015.
All links directed to the old site were broken. We will be reinstating links as we find them If the data is still available.
Please let us know if you find a broken link.
Send us the URL of the link and the Name of the page it is on, and if we can reinstate it, we will.
The information on this page or in this site may have unintentional inaccuracies, and also has opinions.
It should not be relied upon as fact until investigated personally by the reader.
Please read our full Disclaimer
and read our Policies page before using
All who find inaccuracies are asked to please
contact us so we may correct them.