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We the undersigned call on all Lower Merion Township Commissioners and Lower Merion School Board members to make a public commitment to respect the generous will of Mrs. Ashbridge and protect Ashbridge Park from any development.

We are dismayed at recent suggestions that Ashbridge Park could be utilized as a site for the Lower Merion School District. As examples:

  • In their presentation entitled “Tomorrow’s Students, Today’s Challenges: Assessing and Addressing LMSD’s Growing Enrollment”, on Slides 10 and 11 of 25, the LMSD points to explorations of Ashbridge Park as a potential site to meet the school district’s growing enrollment needs.
  • In an interview, Superintendent Robert Copeland remarked that Ashbridge Park is “…a beautiful park,”, adding that it was superior to the alternative site being considered (the Islamic Center): “It would be a better location. … It’s much flatter terrain, generally speaking, and its 26-acres as opposed to 20-acres.”[1]
  • Further, when it was drawn to Superintendent Copeland’s attention that the Park was bequeathed to the Township as a public park, the Superintendent entertains the idea that the deed can be broken, giving the Barnes Foundation as an example.[2]

We believe these remarks show a complete disregard for Mrs. Ashbridge’s stipulations as well as the value of Ashbridge Park as a much revered common space for the residents of Lower Merion and beyond.

We call on all Lower Merion Township Commissioners and those running for commissioner, and members of the Lower Merion School Board to oppose altering the deed for Ashbridge Park.

Ashbridge Park should be preserved as is.

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