Letter: Petition to save Stoneleigh

When we began our fight to Save Stoneleigh, we said that we would pursue every option to protect the soaring trees, the grand Olmsted landscapes, and the serenity and magic that is Stoneleigh.

We asked you to help and you responded with remarkable force. The Save Stoneleigh petition has 27,000 signatures, the School District’s inbox has been flooded with hundreds of emails, the streets of Lower Merion and nearby communities are adorned in Save Stoneleigh yard signs, and our voices were loud and clear at the May 21st School Board meeting.

Sadly, the Lower Merion School District still refuses to take Stoneleigh off the table. So, last week supporters in the Pennsylvania legislature joined our effort.

Representatives Warren Kampf, Kate Harper, Marcy Toepel, and a number of others have introduced State House Bill 2468 that will add provisions to Pennsylvania’s Eminent Domain law requiring a higher level of court approval before land protected with a conservation easement can be taken via eminent domain.

We are deeply grateful to these legislators for recognizing that lands under conservation easement fulfill a vital public purpose that shouldn’t be ignored or minimized, and for working to prevent the Lower Merion School District from setting a dangerous precedent that could put a target on protected lands across the state.

Here's how you can help:

• Email your local Representative and ask him or her to support House Bill 2468. https://bit.ly/2sYhjWD
• Follow Natural Lands and Stoneleigh: a natural garden on social media, and share our posts and tweets about House Bill 2468 to multiply the support.
• Consider making a donation or becoming a member of Natural Lands if you aren’t already. Member support is invaluable to help underwrite our efforts to save Stoneleigh. www.natlands.org/support

The next Lower Merion School Board meeting is tonight at 8 pm. I will be there to again speak to the School Board and carry your message of opposition.

If you haven’t yet, please visit Stoneleigh and experience its tranquil beauty. We’re hosting a variety of education programs, volunteer gardener gatherings, and other activities in the coming weeks and months. Or just come and stroll the grounds as John and Chara Haas always envisioned.

Thank you for your unflagging support.

Sincerely,

Molly K. Morrison
President, Natural Lands

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