More on the Valley Forge – American Revolution Center story
At the risk of disrupting the great discussion going on at my original post, I wanted to point out a couple of things that have been brought up by our commenters.
First, WHYY’s Alex Schmidt, the reporter who produced the original piece offered some great additional material that she didn’t have time to include in the original piece. Folks that she talked to for the story made some additional points:
for example, the ARC originally wanted to build at the location of the current visitor’s center, and the park service led them to the location that they’re building at now instead.
secondly, the lines of public parks are often drawn completely arbitrarily, and one could certainly argue that at Valley Forge, this is the case. many of the local residents who oppose the new development may themselves live on land where continental soldiers once marched.
thirdly, the land on which the ARC is building was zoned for residential development. at the time that they purchased it, Toll Brothers was showing significant interest time as well.
now, because the ARC owns it, 75% of the land will be preserved as open space, forever. the ordinance passed by lower providence is the most restrictive land use ordinance ever passed in the township, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the ARC’s project.
In addition to that, commenter Steve Palmer gave his perspective on the credibility of a group that has formed to oppose the ARC project and he pointed out the website for that group, which, curiously, didn’t turn up in my quick Google searches. Steve’s main point:
So first impression – savevalleyforgepark.org credibility == 0. They’ve got a “not in my back yard” issue and they’re trying to frame it as patriotism and manipulate the community into standing behind them. If they really believed their claim about “hallowed ground”, they’d be asking the government to buy their own property and give it to the park too. I don’t like being lied to, so I decided to dig further.
Apparently, Save Valley Forge Park hasn’t embraced web 2.0 yet, since there doesn’t appear to be a blog component to the site. How hard is it to start a wordpress blog? I’ve done it 3 times now!
So the discussion continues. Though I’m not promising anything, this may be a story that is worth a little more digging. If you have more tips or information, in addition to contributing to the comments, you can email Alex directly at aschmidt (at) whyy.org (written like to that to try and fool spam bots).