Efforts To Protect Historic Camp Security Gaining Ground
May 10, 2012
Saving Camp Security is a win for our nation and nature. Photo by Kyle Shenk/The Conservation Fund
Fundraising Campaign Kicks Off To Save Revolutionary War Site
Springettsbury Township, Pa. — The Conservation Fund announced today that it has purchased a 47-acre property that was the primary site of Camp Security, a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp from the Revolutionary War. The Conservation Fund is providing “bridge” financing to acquire the property and will own it for up to one year while money is raised to ensure its permanent protection.
Camp Security is one of only a handful of POW camps established during the Revolutionary War era that have not been lost to residential or commercial development. Located just east of the City of York in Springettsbury Township, it held approximately 1,500 captured British soldiers and their families between 1781 and 1783. The site was named one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” in 2005 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The 47-acre tract is located adjacent to the 115-acre Rowe Farm, which was conserved in May 2011 as part of Springettsbury Township’s Camp Security Preservation Area. A portion of Camp Security is believed to have been situated on the Rowe Farm. The ultimate protection of these two historic properties will offer new opportunities for exploration and interpretation of Camp Security. The Conservation Fund intends to transfer ownership of the property to Springettsbury Township once fundraising is complete.
The total cost of the project, which includes the purchase price of just under $940,000, pre-acquisition expenses, closing fees and carrying costs for one year, will be about $1.05 million. Springettsbury Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) have already committed $350,000 in project funding. The Conservation Fund will need to raise approximately $700,000 to ensure preservation of the property. The Friends of Camp Security and The Conservation Fund have embarked on a local fundraising campaign to raise a portion of this remaining need from donors throughout the region.
“The Board of Supervisors of Springettsbury Township is looking forward to working with The Conservation Fund in continuing the process of helping to preserve the Camp Security property,” said Bill Schenck, Chairman. “The Board approved a commitment of $100,000 at the May 10, 2012 meeting to be utilized as a match towards the DCNR grant and approved an agreement with The Conservation Fund to take ownership of the property. This coordinated effort of private non-profits, government and citizens, upon completion, will lead to the preservation of 47 acres of open space for recreational purposes.”
“Through its grant program, DCNR helps communities realize their vision for protecting and enjoying their natural and cultural assets,” DCNR Secretary Richard Allan said. “We are always pleased when our investment leverages local and private dollars to accomplish these goals.”
“We are delighted that after more than 10 years of work, the known area of Camp Security will be preserved,” said Carol Tanzola, President of the Friends of Camp Security. “However, the work is not completed. We now turn to the people in York County, the state, and the nation to help fund this purchase. Camp Security is a real national treasure.”
The Conservation Fund acquired the property from local businessman Timothy F. Pasch. “I am pleased to support the effort to save and explore Camp Security for current and future generations,” said Pasch. “I invite the public to donate generously to the effort to protect and explore this property.”
The conservation of this property, along with the adjacent Rowe Farm, will help Springettsbury Township fulfill its goal of protecting and enhancing open space for public recreation and enjoyment. Approximately 8,000 Township residents live within a 15-minute walk of the property, and tens of thousands more live within a 15-minute drive. Protection of the site will ensure that the historic resources of Camp Security will be preserved for future generations, while providing much-needed passive recreational space for Township and other York County residents.
“I applaud the tenacity and dedication of the organizations and individuals who for so long have sought to preserve this property,” said York County Commissioner Doug Hoke. “Their success helps ensure that York County’s important role in our nation’s history is preserved, and creates yet another addition to York County’s expansive network of public recreational space.”
“Camp Security is located less than an hour from Gettysburg and about an hour and a half from Valley Forge— two historic sites that draw several million visitors each year,” said Todd McNew, Pennsylvania Director of The Conservation Fund. “Once Camp Security is protected, explored and promoted, we believe that thousands will visit annually to learn about what took place here nearly 230 years ago. This project will be a win for local residents, the environment and the regional economy.”
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.