Delaware County residents have a chance to get in on the ground floor of the county’s first new public park in more than 30 years by joining an advisory committee.
Fifteen community leaders are being sought to join a new Master Plan Advisory Committee to develop the park at the former Don Guanella property in Marple Township.
This will be the county’s largest park, covering 213 acres, located in one of the county’s largest forests.
Public input is a cornerstone of the project and will guide key elements of the plan.
The new committee is part of a public planning process that began earlier this year.
The committee will meet an estimated six to eight times with the consulting team and key stakeholders from Delaware County through March 2023.
Members will provide information, ideas, and perspectives to help develop a plan for the new park.
The master plan, to be completed in the Spring of 2023, will be the guiding document that identifies long-term conservation, woodland protection, infrastructure, and recreation improvements for the park.
“We are thrilled to begin planning work on the former Don Guanella site and we’d like to hear the community’s vision for what our newest and largest County park and forest could be,” said Delaware County Council Vice-Chair and liaison to the County’s Parks and Recreation Department, Elaine Schaefer.
“The property is already a cherished regional destination for many residents and we are excited to think big and expand opportunities for park users that are inclusive and forward-thinking. We want people of all ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds to feel welcome in our parks. That starts with hearing from the public.”
The future park is home to woodlands, wetlands, grassland, and many wildlife species. It is believed creation of an open and accessible public space will provide immediate and ongoing economic, environmental and quality of life benefits to Delaware County.
The county announced in June 2021 it was acquiring the Don Guanella parcel for use as a park after plans there for housing and institutional development was rejected by the Marple Township Board of Commissioners.