Talen Energy and Lancaster County Conservancy announce that they have reached an agreement on the transfer of the Holtwood Park property to Lancaster County Conservancy for preservation and public use. Talen Energy agreed to donate the property to the Conservancy by the end of 2016. This agreement will fulfill the original intent of the agreement between PPL, Talen Energy, and Brookfield and the partners who have worked for decades to protect the Susquehanna Riverlands landscape and provide recreation, heritage tourism, scenic enjoyment, and educational opportunities for the public. Those partners — Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund, National Park Service, Lancaster and York Counties, and Susquehanna Heritage have worked together with local municipalities, state, and federal resource-based agencies to continue to protect the most significant natural lands, our waterways, miles of riparian buffers, and wildlife habitat for the public. Lancaster County Conservancy has been and continues to be, pleased to provide the lead on this large landscape protection project.
The Holtwood property is nearly 200 acres and includes offices, a maintenance building, Holtwood park, an arboretum, parking and Conestoga Trail access to Kelly’s Run. In July the Conservancy announced that they had reached an agreement with Talen to open the parking and access to Kelly’s Run pending this agreement. That access will now remain open permanently.
In an effort to ensure public safety, the old structures, the ball field and playground at the old Holtwood Park on the property will not reopen, at this time, as the Conservancy and its state and local partners continue to explore options for addressing the aging recreation equipment and structures. An announcement regarding Holtwood Park will be made at a later time.
The PPL/Talen Energy/Brookfield Project that envisioned transfer of these lands within the Lower Susquehanna to Lancaster County Conservancy, for protection as public open space, began with the efforts of The Conservation Fund and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources over 20 years ago. Hundreds of acres of open spaces have been in the process of transfer and protection for the past six years with an additional 700+ lands slated for transfer later this year and in early 2017. Altogether, more than 1,700 acres within the Susquehanna Riverlands will be protected and managed as public open space.
The conservation partners are grateful for the continued cooperation of PPL, Talen Energy, and Brookfield, who have been outstanding corporate citizens and have donated considerable time and resources to ensure the long-term protection of this incredible landscape.
The Susquehanna Riverlands are a special landscape that stretches along the length of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York counties. Land conservation and stewardship build a foundation for economic development and community sustainability in the region.