Recently, I returned from a blissful escape to the Pocono Mountains. No phone, no television, no internet, no people, no noise. Just a frozen lake with bald eagles, blue herons and hawks. And sleeping dogs by the fireplace. But not far from that peaceful scene, it looks as if New York City is moving to the mountains of Pennsylvania. The amount of land cleared just off the Mt. Pocono exit was staggering to me. Acres and acres of trees cut at the stumps and giant mounds of bull-dozed dirt lined both sides of route 940. As I drove by, staring out the window, I imagined Crebilly Farm stripped, decapitated and replaced with cheap siding and concrete.
Please mark your calendars to attend the next Crebilly Farm/Toll Brothers Conditional Use hearing #10 to be held virtually:
THIS TUESDAY, MARCH 23RD, 7PM
To attend via zoom, click on the link below and enter the passcode if/when prompted:
To attend via phone, dial the number below and enter the meeting ID#:
Meeting ID#: 843 6206 3236
For more information, here is the link from the Westtown Township website:
The universe and timing is a funny thing. Lately I’ve received quite a few emails regarding Crebilly Farm asking why the land is not being conserved and has anyone contacted the owners of the farm to inquire. Where one has questions, I believe many do. In a nutshell, conservation begins with a willing landowner. It also begins with a pro-active municipality, preferably one with some open-space funding, to attract the opportunity of further funding from the county and even the state. After all these years, Westtown Township still has yet to pass an open space referendum. It hasn’t even been on a ballot yet. Why? I do not know. There has been a lot of turnover in the township and your voices are needed. Please continue to contact your elected board officials and township staff to let them know your concerns. In addition, and for reasons I am not privy to, the Robinson Family, at this time, is not open to conserving their land. That is their right, like it or not, and truth be told, absolutely none of my business. In this case, however, the price tag to the rest of us is entirely too high to pay. The profit for the family comes at a horrifying expense to the surrounding community and beyond, and that is the reason I have been writing about it for over four years.
Christmas Day 2016, I wrote an open letter to the Robinson Family and had it published in the Daily Local News. I had to ask my own questions; here it is in case you would like to read it: https://ads.digitalfirstmedia.com/21c/splashstatic/22268/PENAE0000011297-001(1).jpg
Friends, this is not over. It is not over. Thanks to all of you and massive public outcry over more than four years, our local government, conservancies and national heritage organizations are well aware of the Crebilly tract, her historical significance and the negative impact the proposed development would have on our community. If the agreement of sale between the Robinson Family and Toll Brothers, for whatever reasons, changes or becomes null and void somewhere down the road, there could be a new opportunity for conservation. We must not lose sight of this possibility.
A year in a pandemic has only further solidified the things I think, matter most. Good health matters. Loved ones matter. Being outside matters. It matters to have a place to walk peacefully and catch your breath. It matters to have space to clear your mind. It matters that your hands and feet touch the soil of the earth. It matters you soothe your soul, however you need to do that. Nature matters. Her plants, flowers, animals, rivers, lakes and land. Smelling the salt air of the ocean matters. Without these precious things, we are empty. And we need to protect them.
May the new growth of Spring lift your spirits and carry you forward… she is finally here.