Our Future Goals
In 2007, at FHSP’s request, Cheltenham Township received a matching grant of $12,500 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This enabled them to commission the Forbes Environmental and Land Use Planning firm to develop a detailed restoration plan for High School Park. Forbes also sought input from FHSP volunteers, township personnel, business owners and other residents. The new master plan provides detailed management protocols and timelines to guide our restoration of the park’s native ecosystems, so our volunteer efforts will be more focused. The plan also provides hardscaping and signage recommendations. Some of the recommendations include:
- Riparian Zone: Restoring the stream bank by reshaping the slope to redirect the water towards the center of the stream, and by replanting the shoreline with native shrubs, perennials and seed mixtures suited to this moist environment.
- Entrances: Redesigning the entryway to the park to make it more inviting, informative, and associated with the business corridor and nearby SEPTA train station
- Signage: Providing permanent and attractive educational signage throughout the park
- Lighting: Installing night sky-sensitive lighting that enhances safety and security
The new master plan also enables FHSP and the Township to apply for implementation grants. Our future efforts are focused on acquiring the funding, volunteers and paid staff to carry out this restoration plan. A DCNR grant and matching funds from the township, as well as thousands of in-kind hours from volunteers, have allowed us to make improvements to the park.
- Meadow Restoration Phase I: Between 2011-13 the meadow and woodland edge was replanted and redesigned to enhance the habitat and restore the native plant ecology.
- Meadow Restoration Phase II: Starting in 2014, Phase II seeks to enhance storm water management in the park and create a transition to the lower woodlands.