County Park in Marple Invests in No One But Us

The 213-acre Don Guanella footprint, according to Google Maps.
Image via Google Maps for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The 213-acre Don Guanella footprint, according to Google Maps.

It may seem like a strange time to preserve a huge track of open land when new home construction could aid Delaware County’s housing shortage.

But sometimes it’s necessary to look out for the long-term community good, writes Maria Panaritis for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

County Council, through eminent domain, is working to secure the county’s largest park as it purchases 213 acres from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, much of it forest, in Marple Township.

Attempts by developers to build houses, shopping centers and more have twice been rejected by Marple Commissioners.

The undeveloped forest lies in one of the most densely populated areas of the county.

Panaritis refers to the purchase as a “gift to the community.”

As a bonus, the park will allow the forest to continue providing critical flood protection for everyone.

County Councilperson Elaine Schaefer described the park as a community initiative that’s been ‘brewing for a decade.”

Free markets don’t Invest in the common good when the only return is the common good, Panaritis wrote.

 “This is how you create a legacy of good that endures beyond a single year’s tally of tax receipts or a developer’s annual investment yield off a loan-financed project.”

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer on the benefits of a new county park.

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