SCEE “TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS” PLANS TO SELL. WE DEMAND 100% PRESERVATION THROUGH AN EASEMENT.
About the Plan to sell
On June 30th, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE) announced their intention via zoom to sell a 24 acre tract of land to raise money for a capitol campaign.
This land was set aside by the donor family of SCEE’s additional 340 acres to support SCEE in a time of crisis. SCEE has yet to demonstrate a compelling need or reason.
SCEE recently “temporarily suspended” their plan to sell on September 6th. The community demands 100% preservation of the land.
About the Boy Scout Tract
The “Boy Scout Tract” is 24 untouched acres in Upper Roxborough, named for the Boy Scouts who used it to camp. The tract is connected to SCEE’s main 340 acres by Port Royal Ave.
The tract was donated to SCEE under the guidance that it could be sold in a time of crisis to help preserve the remaining 340 acres.
The tract is native forest, and the font of one Green Tree Run, one of the last first-order streams in the city.
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Why This Land Should Be Preserved
No Demonstrated Need
SCEE had the most revenue last year than in any of the 5 previous years!
SCEE has stated that they want to sell to provide for items they’ve described in their capitol campaign, which is not public, which includes items like bird cages. While bird cages are important, these items do not rise to the level of crisis that the land was set aside for.
No Justification for “Why Now”
In the written justification, under the section “Why is the Center looking to sell the parcel now?“, SCEE simply states, along with their wish list, that they have done this in the past (40 years ago) and they received an “inquiry of interest.”
The fact is the capitol campaign is 10 years old, and the center has regularly received inquiries in the past. SCEE has not presented a justification as to why this has to happen now, in a rushed fashion.
No Vision for How this Sale Will Support SCEE in the Future
SCEE has not presented a plan as to how this sale will help sustain SCEE in the future. The presentation thus far has included a non-public capitol campaign list. The land was set aside as a last resort to help sustain SCEE. SCEE has not addressed this.
Counter to SCEE’s Mission
This plan to sell flies in the face of SCEE’s mission as a land steward and to “use our forests and fields as a living laboratory to foster appreciation, deepen understanding, and encourage stewardship of the environment.” SCEE named 2022 their “Year of Restoration“.
Bad for Roxborough and Bad for Philadelphia
The neighborhood and the city will suffer for the lack of this green space.
- June 28 – SCEE announces plan to sell
- July 11 – SCEE shares Request for Proposals, due Sept 28
- July – Neighbors begin organizing in opposition to the sale
- September 6 – SCEE announces they have “temporarily suspended” RFP process
- September 7 – Community meeting at Roxborough Church, 8230 Ridge Avenue, at 7pm
- September 8 – Rally at the corner of Hagys Mill road and Port Royal Ave at 8am
- September 23 – Original deadline for proposals for developing Boy Scout tract
Neighbors and those concerned are organizing to oppose this sale.