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Little Flower Manor Park Master Site Plan

The County is developing a park master site development plan for its recently acquired property in Darby Borough and Upper Darby Township.

The purpose of the master plan is to produce a plan for the development of the newest County Park, with recommendations to best meet the needs of the public. Attention will be given to making connections to surrounding communities and evaluating existing buildings, such as the Woodburne Mansion, for future reuse possibilities. Use of the site as a trailhead for the Darby Creek Greenway Trail will be evaluated as well.

The County was awarded a $52,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to undertake this project. The property is located adjacent to Springfield Road, Darby Creek, and the Little Flower Manor nursing home.

Although the County has only recently taken ownership of this newest County Park, it has been hard at work in trying to stabilize and protect the buildings and grounds. This park is an important opportunity for citizens countywide, especially those in eastern Delaware County. Parks help to improve the quality of life, increase property values, attract and retain businesses, connect people with nature, create a sense of community, and help our residents to engage in active healthy living.

Questions about the master plan? Contact Karen Holm at 610-891-5213 or holmk@co.delaware.pa.us.

Master Plan Update

The County has hired a project consultant team led by TPW Design Studios, with sub-consultants Campbell Thomas & Co. and Toole Recreation Planning, to assist the County with this project. A Study Committee of County staff, County Park Board members, community representatives, and other stakeholders, will provide input into the planning process over the course of the project.

Public Meetings

Public Meeting #1

The first public meeting for the Little Flower Manor Master Site Development Plan was held on February 21, 2017, at the Darby Borough Recreation Center. About 60 people attended the meeting.

The meeting began with a presentation by Karen Holm of the Delaware County Planning Department and Tim Wilson of TPW Design Studios, detailing background on the site, the scope of work, and key goals for the project and the public meeting.

Public Meeting #1 Presentation

Most of the meeting was spent on the work session that followed the presentation. It involved gathering public input concerning future use of the property and the Woodburne Mansion.

Public Meeting Minutes, Participant Responses, and Photos

The Planning Team received 178 written ideas about the interests, concerns, and ideas of the participants, as well as open questions to underscore and clarify our findings. Below is a summary of the findings that will be considered in developing a master site plan for the Little Flower Manor open space.

  1. The main ways that participants want to use the park are:
  • Trails for safe walking and bicycling to connect with the Darby Creek Trail and to the regional bicycle trail system beyond known as The Circuit.
  • Special events such as social gatherings, movies, performances, and community activities, for both public enjoyment as well as to generate revenue to offset maintenance costs.
  • Other desired uses of the site as a park were broad ranging reflective of a county park, with places to enjoy nature, facilities for sports, environmental education, picnicking, and dog-friendly facilities.
  1. Potential future uses for Woodburne Mansion suggested by the participants included:
  • Special events, especially for revenue generation
  • Environmental education and museum
  • Other uses included housing for park caretakers, summer camps, community center, hotel/youth hostel, senior center, food service, meeting space, and training center.
  1. The main concerns of the participants included:
  • Maintenance
  • Funding
  • Safety

These concerns also included the potential impact on Darby Borough as the location of the future park. A few residents preferred to see nothing done to the property at all.

  1. The single most important thing to participants resulted in the following priorities:
  • Help to revitalize Darby Borough and the region
  • Community hub for recreation and community camaraderie
  • Preservation of the Woodburne Mansion
  • Trail connections

Next Steps

The planning team will consider the information provided by the meeting participants, and will continue to engage the public in additional outreach through interviews, focus groups, and future public meetings in tandem with other research, recreation trends, and community needs. The next public meeting will be announced on this website.



 

 

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