I’m sure many of you have heard the news by now that the Asbury Woods Partnership has agreed to purchase Asbury Woods from the Millcreek Township School District to ensure the preservation of this greenspace in perpetuity. In 1957, Dr. Otto Behrend b e q u e a t h e d a generous gift to the Millcreek Township School District that has grown into a treasured community asset providing opportunities for the students in Millcreek, the community and visitors to our area to experience, study and enjoy nature. Unfortunately, when deeded to the school district, legal deed restrictions were not placed on any of the properties to preserve its use and prevent future development.
Over the past several months, we have been working together diligently to reach a deal to enable us to purchase the Brown’s Farm property and the Asbury Woods Nature Center property. We plan to raise the funds needed over the next year to acquire the two Asbury Woods properties by June 2016. Both organizations have worked in conjunction to find the best solution that could alleviate the School District’s financial burden, enable the School District to continue its award winning environmental education programming, and preserve Asbury Woods as a regional asset.
We believe we have found a win-win here and that purchasing the Asbury Woods property would be a benefit both to the School District and the Erie Community.
First and foremost, the students of Millcreek win because by working with us the school district is ensuring that the high quality environmental education programs that Asbury Woods has become known for will continue uninterrupted now and into the future.
Second, the school district wins because the funds they will receive from us to purchase these lands will help with their growing fund balance. In addition, by passing ownership to the Asbury Woods Partnership, the school district will reduce their operations costs.
Third, the Millcreek community itself wins because the Asbury Woods Partnership i s dedi cated t o continuing to offer public programs and events enjoyed by tens of thousands of people every year, and we are excited about finding even more opportunities to expand our outreach to the community.
Finally the greater Erie community wins because by taking over management and ownership responsibilities we can invest in upgrading the greenway trails and facilities enjoyed by over 100,000 annual visitors to Asbury Woods and explore new and innovative ways to provide necessary environmental education to students throughout the region in a more cost-effective manner.
I hope we can count on your support as we move forward with plans to save this beloved and treasured green space and community asset that makes Millcreek and the greater Erie community such a special place to live.
From the Woods,
Asbury Woods Partnership, Inc.