Letters and Words of Support

The success of our effort to Save the Farm at 1215 McCormick Rd. and Save the Horses at Total Equine Learning Center depends largely on the support of the community.

Please take a few minutes to email or otherwise share your viewpoint. It would be helpful to say if you are an Upper Allen Township resident.

Letters of Support from Organizations, Community Leaders, and Supporters are encouraged and will be shown first.

Elaine Weibel, Upper Allen Township, August 3, 2022 What an astonishing and fascinating amount of history (and effort) has gone into this message. Clearly this is not just another junky old house. Save it! Use it! Preserve, share and teach the history!,

Debbie Goetz, Upper Allen, May 4, 2022 Public Comment and Letter to Commissioners

My name is Debbie Goetz and I live at 1117 McCormick Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 My family has lived on McCormick Road for 38 years.

As I see it— In regards to the design of the Lambert Farm Park— The results of the methodically-run resident input sessions revealed that a solid majority of the residents expressed interest for and cast their votes for a nature-centered calm and passive park. All of those votes (52% of all votes cast) are consistent with and dependent upon providing habitat and a place for all species of wildlife to survive and flourish— otherwise without the habitat there will not be any wildlife, and consequently, there will be nothing to look at while walking along the nature trail.

For the stated goals to be achieved, the nature-centered park should include only native species throughout the park, including—forested areas of native trees, areas with native bushes, and areas of open sunny fields of native wildflowers and native grasses.

The consultant’s conceptual plan of designated uses limits the walking paths to the perimeter of the property. With the nature trail along the perimeter of the park adjacent to the neighboring houses on one side and the active area situated on the other side, I am not sure what we are supposed to see along this trail. The nature path should not be placed along the perimeter of the property with only one side to view nature. And according to the guiding principles, the perimeter of the park should be a planted buffer zone, not an area to be utilized by pathways, onlookers and people with binoculars.

The best nature trails that I have walked consist of a stretch with pervious concrete, safely accommodating everyone, and a stretch with smaller dirt pathways which provide a deeper look into completely natural areas. Both areas allow users an opportunity to bring their binoculars, be completely surrounded by natural wonders, and peacefully and quietly walk through the park to take a peek into a space we have set aside for nature. Visualize a figure eight that encompasses the majority of the park. The pathway should be immersed through the different areas of the park, through different habitats— weaving through the woods, through an area of bushes, and then opening up to the natural meadows.

In order to accomplish these goals, we need to provide a large space that is friendly to the needs of all species of wildlife that currently live in this area, migrate through this area, and for those species that we are trying to attract to the park— including natural habitat for natural shelter and cover, sources of natural food for all stages of their life cycle, and a place for their quiet peaceful existence.

For habitat and shelter— The perimeter of the park needs to be protected from and buffered from the adjacent properties. Certainly keep all existing large and small trees currently established along the perimeter of the property; keep each and every one. Along with many other birds and wildlife that live in the area, Barred Owls and Pileated Woodpeckers live in tree cavities and have graced this area for many years. Please do not cut down their homes. The additional buffer could be planted with native evergreen trees along the property line (American holly and white pines come to mind), cascading to smaller trees (cherry, locust) and then native shrubs (winterberry holly, blueberry) could be planted along the pathway.

For sources of natural food— All trees, bushes, and flowers should be methodically and carefully selected to provide for the wildlife that lives in and migrates through our area. They are dependent on us to provide natural sources of food for their survival. For the past ten years, I have personally kept a 365 day calendar that describes the goings and comings of the flora and fauna that grace this area each year. It is my nature journal and I will be happy to share my firsthand knowledge of the area to work with the landscaper chosen for the park.

Nature enthusiasts and most people that live in this area are quiet. We take great pride and joy in peacefully coexisting with the nature around us. All of us know that loud noises, hooting, hollering, and quick movements are disruptive to wildlife and are contrary to the established goals of this park.

I do not see how the serene feel of a park that is supposed to provide a peek into nature could ever blend with or be in the same park as a BMX Track and Pump Track. All of the YouTube videos from those very active extreme sports reveal fast movements, cheering onlookers, and lots of action. All of those things are contrary a park of nature trails for nature enthusiasts and the elderly.

The Park and Recreational Open Space Plan stated that each park should have its own theme to reflect the surrounding area and the residents of that area. I am a solution-oriented person. With that in mind, I have a few suggestions for your consideration:

Allow the Lambert Farm to become a totally passive park and place of quiet reflection of life. According to the 2020 Census, 37% of Upper Allen residents are over 50 years old. Let’s try to meet some of the needs of that 37% of the population.

Seize opportunities to purchase more open space to keep up with our ever-growing population and ongoing need to fulfill the short-fall of the proper ratio of open space per resident. Continue to upgrade and update the existing parks throughout the township.

For instance, the township has the perfect under-utilized park space that would be a perfect fit for a BMX Track and a Pump Track. Aspen Park, located on Aspen Road adjacent to Market Street, is situated in a mostly commercial area with some densely-zoned residential housing. It has always been a grass-covered mowed open space under the power lines. In all the years as a designated township park, it has never found its identity or usefulness. I expect that the active biking sports would be welcomed in this area. The residents that expressed interest in a BMX Track and a Pump Track in Upper Allen Township also would be happier at Aspen Park. It is more centrally located within the township and would be more convenient. The participants would be free to fully engage in and enjoy their sport without getting the stink-eye from

disgusted binocular-wearing nature seekers. They and their spectators could feel free to hoot and holler and cheer as they made the jumps and succeeded in completing the biking tricks that go along with the sport. If needed, they could have sponsors similar to what you see around baseball fields. I feel quite sure that JoJos and other businesses in the area would love the extra business.

To date, the overwhelming majority of open space in the township parks is devoted to meeting the needs of the younger crowds. The demographic segment of residents that have not ever been considered is the 50+ year old group, the empty-nesters. This group showed up during the township planning process to voice their need for open space and passive park activities dedicated to fulfill their outdoor passive recreational needs. This demographic makes up a significant percent of the population of the township and deserves to have a peaceful place, away from traffic and cars, to unwind from the hustle and bustle of this fast moving world. We need a park that caters to our demographic. We want to pack our binoculars and go out into a natural area for a walk to see if the migrating Cedar Waxwing or Indigo Bunting has arrived in our area. We want to see the Monarch lay eggs on the milkweed, and over time, watch as the caterpillars eat milkweed, form a chrysalis, and then fly away to complete the life cycle. We want this park to be where you go to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. A comfortable place to meet up with friends for a game of shuffleboard or horseshoes and talk about your family. It would be great to have a quiet place to go for a walk along a nature path in hopes of spotting a fox in the field, a favorite songbird in a tree or a butterfly enjoying the nectar from the wildflowers. A quiet place to go for a walk with your loved one after dinner. A quiet place to observe the wonders of nature.

In closing, please allow the Lambert Farm to continue to be a totally passive space and a place of quiet reflection of life. A place where nature prevails and where those of us who are 50+ feel like we belong there. A quiet, comfortable park to enjoy each others’ company in harmony with nature. I would love to see UAT embrace the fact that this park is in a historic area of the township. An area already widely used by walkers, casual bicycle riders, nature lovers, and those seeking the quiet solitude of nature. Why disturb a wonderful part of the township.

I certainly hope that we can maintain enough open space within the township for all residents to enjoy what they like to do in the great outdoors.

Please feel free to reach out to me. I welcome conversations with each of you.

Thank you for your time. Debbie Goetz 717-514-4288

Jady Conroy (New Cumberland) September 1, 2021 Thanks for the August 31 update, Eric. I am sad to read that the Park & Recreation Board Chairman was so opposed to horses being part of the vision. As a horse owner and the parent of a child who spent her formative years in a local barn, I can only say good things about the value of learning to care for and communicate with an animal such as a horse. I hope that productive discussion will ensue and that a reasonable understanding of this valuable resource will result. Following with interest.

Billie, Upper Allen Township, August 24, 2021 Personally, I still feel that horses used for rehabilitative purposes with clients that would benefit from them is a good idea. Also, I am wondering if the school district would be interested in working with children at the farm with gardening and other environmental issues.

Kristin, August 23, 2021 My daughter is about to start equine therapy on Saturday. As a parent of two autistic ADHD children I can not imagine a better use of this space.

Jacqueline, Dillsburg, August 22, 2021 I grew up on McCormick Rd. in the 1950’s at 649 McCormick Rd. We actually knew the Trout family who lived at 1215 McCormick and swam in their pool and rode horses from their barn. We spent time at Cona as the Green Trees property was renovated. I have photos and am very interested in being a part of this process.

Nancy & Family, Fairview Township, June 11, 2021 We are so excited to have just learned about this initiative. We live in Fairview Township and have always enjoyed McCormick Road. Further, our son, now 27 and has autism and intellectual disability, benefited greatly from his involvement with Jo Hocker at TELC. We are all in for this amazing project. Can we get some yard signs? How else can we get involved? This is incredible!!

Kathy, Lower Allen Township, June 3, 2021 Let’s have our historic and beautiful area developed passively. We can still save the rescue horses before they are sold at auction. We can preserve the 1855 Lambert farmhouse (which has sadly never been registered as an historic site…). Let us preserve the 1825 Lambert Barn. Help us to continue to preserve the Yellow Breeches, which is a protected watercourse and home and habitat to multiple species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. McCormick Rd. features 12 historic buildings, 2 arched bridges and so many scenic views which will be compromised, if not destroyed, if the road is widened. As of now, this tiny road has a 25 mph speed limit which is neither followed or enforced, endangering children, runners, walkers and bikers.”

Linda, June 2, 2021 I lived in Lisburn for years when we first moved to this Harrisburg area. Lovely neighborhood, enjoyed many hours at Lower Allen Community Park. I loved hours of walks and drives up and down McCormick so lovely. I will be thrilled to learn of updates of this lovely area. I still frequently drive out there. The nestling backdrop that the Yellow Breaches adds as it winds along is truly a beautiful treasure. Great that Upper Allen has a plan for such a fun place. “

Cora, Fairview Township, June 1, 2021 The farm has always been special to our family as we like to walk that road and spend time at the creek. When my kids were very young we would take special drives by the farm to say hi to the horses…sure miss seeing them there. If you’d like to place a save the farm sign in our yard we’d be honored! “

Kevin, Upper Allen Township, May 31, 2021 “I run along McCormick Rd. on a daily basis and get to see the beautiful scenery and waterfowl. I would like to connect with Friends of the Farm because I think many of our thoughts regarding conservation in the area align… Looking forward to hearing more and hoping for a passive design!”

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