In 2010, Delaware County Council purchased the 46.2-acre Mineral Hill tract. This site is famous among rock buffs for its wealth of stone specimens and crystals. November 9, 2010 press release.
Delaware County and the three municipalities with adjacent park properties have undertaken a cooperative effort to plan for future recreational use of the area. The 123-acre Mineral Hill Area (the study area) is located on both sides of Ridley Creek on the north side of Baltimore Pike just west of Media. It is comprised of the County-owned Mineral Hill property and Middletown Township’s Memorial Park on the west side of the creek, and Scott Park and the Township-owned Lavin Tract in Upper Providence on the east side of the creek. Some of the land area is owned by Media Borough and is leased back to the municipalities as well as Aqua PA.
Natural Lands Trust (NLT), a local organization with extensive experience in land conservation, was hired to serve as consultant on the project. Funding for the plan was provided by a 50 percent matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), with a financial contribution provided by Aqua PA, and additional in-kind services donated by Natural Lands Trust and Delaware County.
A project Steering Committee made up of County staff (Planning Department, Parks Department, and Conservation District) municipal officials, the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association, and representatives from adjacent landowners Elwyn Inc., PECO, and Aqua PA participated in development of the plan.
The study area has a number of unique and important environmental features, and is a source of drinking water for Aqua PA’s Media water treatment plant located on the south side of Baltimore Pike across from Memorial Park.
For these reasons, the plan will identify and map important natural resources, including geology, soils, topography, hydrology, vegetation, and other special characteristics.
Although the open spaces will be evaluated as one ecosystem to ensure environmental quality, increase public benefit, and limit redundancy, the planning process allows each of the municipalities and the County to recommend improvements most suited to their specific needs and desires.
The final product will be a written report including the properties’ location and context, an analysis of existing conditions, recommendations, and an implementation schedule. The Master Plan will provide recommendations concerning stewardship of natural resources, appropriate park uses, trail system layout, site amenities, and possible pedestrian connections beyond the site. The amenities could include, but would not be limited to parking, signage, and recreational facilities.