July 10, 2010

The $1 Sale of Washington's Crossing

Buried in Pennsylvania House Bill 2126 was a little provision with historical interest - the $1 sale of one of America's historical treasures, Washington Crossing State Park. The Bill sailed through the House and is headed to Committee.

While chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, State Senator Chuck McIllhinney, has promised a public hearing on the issue, members of the Crossing Legacy Foundation say the hearing is nothing more than a dog and pony show.

You see, the Crossing Legacy group has promised to save the park by agreeing pay one million dollars to rent the historic location for 99 years; a move which would more than cover the costs of upkeep for the 500 acres. According to members of Crossing Legacy, they have been shut out of the process to this point.

According to the group's website, the one-dollar price tag is "grosely inadequate and legally insufficient". The buyer, a group known as The Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Association, Inc., intends to sell a portion of the park to developers who would be permitted by the zoning code to build condos on the site.

On July 4th, members of the Crossing Legacy Foundation attempted to hand out petitions to save the Park from the pending sale, only to be confronted by a few "friends" of the Bowman's Hill group and local police.  The police, accurately realized the petitioners had every legal right to be present there and refused to arrest any of the protestors.

The site has contact information for the local elected officials.  Contact these politicos and put a stop to this theft of an important piece of our history.

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