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A Local Case Drawing Attention to the Worldwide Loss of Biodiversity through Fragmentation and Loss of Habitat
Petition Background (Preamble):
Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County, PA; the City of Philadelphia;and the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE), Philadelphia, PA, (“Partners”) entered into a three-party planning initiative, spearheaded by SCEE, to plan the future of Whitemarsh Township's newly acquired 33 acre parcel (“East 33’) and the 76 acre Manatawna Farm parcel (Manatawna), owned by The City of Philadelphia, leased by W. B. Saul School for Agricultural Science (Saul School), and located approximately half in Whitemarsh Township and half in Philadelphia.
The “Partners” contracted with Natural Lands Trust (NLT) to do a planning study costing approximately $25,000 to plan the future development of the aforementioned parcels. NLT was asked by the “Partners” to include trail corridors through both properties, linking the SCEE trail system running through their 340 urban wooded nature preserve to Whitemarsh’s East 33 wooded parcel (home to much wildlife) and Montgomery County’s trail network. Also included in the scope is the development of a connecting parcel of subsidized, commercial, experimental, fenced agriculture replacing Saul School’s Manatawna open hayfields and habitat, documented breeding grounds of grassland species of conservation concern such as bobolink, eastern meadowlark and Northern Bobwhite.
Surrounding communities and neighbors oppose this plan, and hope this local case will draw global attention to the worldwide loss of biodiversity through fragmentation and loss of habitat, especially in critical wildlife corridors.
We need your support to stop this insensitive plan that will:
fragment this rare habitat,
cause disturbance to wildlife,
increase stormwater runoff and erosion,
introduce additional invasive plants into the habitat,
create more entry (and escape) points for unauthorized recreational vehicles,
undermine the curriculum and programs of WB Saul High School.
We ask that the existing Manatawna hayfields be managed to allow the completion of the breeding species, that the existing community gardens be maintained properly by SCEE (including removal of invasive plants migrating into the surrounding woodland and residential areas), and that the East 33 parcel be managed properly for invasive plant infestations.
The A Local Case Drawing Attention to the Worldwide Loss of Biodiversity through Fragmentation and Loss of Habitat petition to Whitemarsh Twp, Montgomery Cnty, PA; City of Philadelphia Mayor's Office; Schuylkill Center was written by Christina Kobland and is in the category Environment at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: east 33, manatawna, philadelphia parks and rec, saul school, wildlife corridor, scee