Springettsbury Township Park System Adds Additional Open Space

June 1, 2011

Camp Security

Camp Security. Photo by Kyle Shenk/The Conservation Fund.

Private-Public Partnership Secures 115 Acres of Undeveloped Land for Community Enjoyment

Springettsbury Township, Pa. — Today representatives from local, state and national organizations convened to celebrate the purchase and protection of a 115-acre refuge of green pastures near the City of York. The property, which features wooded areas and open fields with impressive panoramic views, will be open to the public for passive recreational activities like hiking and picnicking. The tract, known as the Walters Farm, will be a new addition to Springettsbury Township’s Camp Security Park.

The conservation of this property, located approximately six miles from the Susquehanna River, will help fulfill Pennsylvania’s commitment to protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This acquisition will enhance the quality of outdoor recreational amenities for the tens of thousands of local residents while promoting ground water infiltration and better storm water management in the area.

Funding for this acquisition was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Springettsbury Township, York County and The Friends of Camp Security.

“The Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors is thrilled with the acquisition of the Walters Property, as the expansion of Camp Security Park will help the Township further preserve open space and provide for the recreation needs of our residents for years to come,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman, Bill Schenck.

“Camp Security Park is not just a landmark historic site, it also is an important part of a special landscape that stretches along the length of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York counties,” DCNR Bureau Director, Brenda Barrett said. “By protecting this land we honor our past and build our future on a foundation of economic development, community sustainability and a conservation stewardship strategy for the Lower Susquehanna region.”

DCNR provided $1.06 million in Community Conservation Partnership Program funds to help support this acquisition.

“Residents of Springettsbury Township and surrounding communities shouldn’t have to travel far to experience the outdoors,” said Todd McNew, The Conservation Fund’s Pennsylvania Director. “By working together with local, state and private partners, we’ve preserved a refuge within close proximity to tens of thousands of citizens, securing it as a green space for public recreation and enjoyment.”

“The York County Board of Commissioners was happy to contribute to the preservation of this open space,” said Commissioner Doug Hoke. “This is an excellent example of inter-governmental cooperation along with private support to accomplish a major public project.”

The protected 115-acre tract, formerly known as the Rowe Farm, is located within the historic footprint of Camp Security—a prisoner-of-war camp that 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. 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.

Practically undisturbed for more than two centuries, the Rowe Farm was threatened by development during the past decade. A coalition of concerned private and public groups—Springettsbury Township, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Friends of Camp Security, York County Heritage Trust, Historic York Inc., Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area, Preservation Pennsylvania, The Conservation Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—was formed to purchase the historic site.

“A decade ago The Friends of Camp Security began the effort to save and secure this Revolutionary War Site in Springettsbury Township. The purchase of the Walters Farm represents a critical milestone in this effort,” said Carol Tanzola, President of The Friends of Camp Security. “On behalf of the Friends of Camp Security I am delighted and honored to be a part of this important mission.”

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.

About Springettsbury Township

Springettsbury Township is a diverse community of approximately 27,000 residents that has an almost even mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and open-space areas. The Township is centrally located in York County.

Springettsbury Township is governed by a board of five supervisors elected at large by the voters for a six-year term. Years ago, supervisors were mainly in charge of maintaining roads and bridges, and plowing snow in the winter. Today, as the needs of township residents have grown, so has the role of township supervisor. From public safety, to emergency services, to environmental protection, these volunteer public servants assume an ever-greater role in providing services and facilities to respond to their citizens' needs and, especially, to meet the demands of a constantly increasing array of state and federal mandates.

About Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

DCNR’s mission is to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment. The department works to improve stewardship of state parks and forests; promote statewide land conservation; build and maintain sustainable and attractive communities; and create outdoor connections for citizens and visitors.

Press Release Contacts

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 | asimonelli@conservationfund.org

John Holman, Springettsbury Township, (717) 757-3521 ext. 421,john.holman@springettsbury.com
Christina Novak, Pennsylvania DCNR, (717)-772-9101

  • Camp Security: A Revolutionary War POW Camp

    Camp Security

    We helped Springettsbury Township, in York County, Pennsylvania, save Camp Security, the site of a Revolutionary War prisoner-of-war camp. Camp Security is one of only a handful of POW camps established during the Revolutionary War era that have not been… Read More