Support Lower Merion’s Cynwyd Heritage Trail
One of Lower Merion’s most exciting open space projects is the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. This will convert abandoned, overgrown and underutilized properties in Bala Cynwyd into a spectacular linear park from the old Cynwyd station, down to the Schuylkill River, around to Belmont Avenue and connecting with the major and historic cemeteries along the route. The community’s excitement is manifest by 120 volunteers again turning out on a recent March 2009 weekend to help clean up and prepare portions of the abandoned SEPTA rail bed and newly acquired 6.8 acre “Spaventa” property expanding the trail to the Rock Hill Road and Belmont Ave intersection. Application already is submitted for County Open Space funding for the additional property under an agreement of sale with Westminster Cemetery to further expand the connecting open spaces. A portion of this purchase is being considered for a fenced off leash dog park in the eastern part of Lower Merion. A Master Plan for the Cynwyd trail has recently been completed and can be obtained on the township’s website. That master plan points out that “In the largest sense, the Cynwyd Heritage Trail refers to an approximately 350-acre linear open space ‘park’ comprised of public, private and institutional lands.” Fantastic! The township is working with the various public and private parties to provide access to the bridges spanning the Schuylkill River and connecting to Manayunk and the region’s trail network on the river’s eastern side. Today one can walk along the railroad ties from the Cynwyd Station, curve around to the left on the “Spaventa” property trail connecting to Belmont Ave., cross the river on the Belmont Ave/Green Lane Bridge for a meal or shopping in Manayunk and return back to Cynwyd.
The Gladwyne Civic Association (GCA) strongly supports this vision and encourages Gladwyne community members’ support. How you might ask? First, join the Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. See http://www.cynwydtrail.org to print an application. The funds raised by your membership and generosity support the extremely cost effective volunteer efforts. Second, please consider volunteering on a Saturday or Sunday work day. Upcoming dates for 2009 include April 18 and 19 with the Lower Merion Boy Scouts; May 16 and 17 with the Lower Merion Boy Scouts; June 20 and 21; September 12 and 13; October 17 and 18; November 14 and 15; and December 5 and 6. Note that July and August are to enjoy hiking and seeing the early stages of this exciting open space partnership of the township, its citizens, the Lower Merion Historical Society, SEPTA, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Westminster Cemetery and hopefully, the county, the state, and the City of Philadelphia.