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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monocacy Creek needs YOUR help!!!

Please read the following information provided by Vicky Bastidas regarding a new threat to the stream and the Archibald Johnson Estate and house.  Please consider attending any Township meetings or contacting your local representatives to voice your opinion.

For all of you who are not familiar with this Estate, it is 88 acres that surrounds Monocacy Creek nestled between Nazareth Pike (rte 191), Christian Springs Road and Santee Mill Road in Bethlehem Township, PA. 

This estate, with its 10,000sf mansion was the summer home of the first Mayor of Bethlehem, former President of Bethlehem Steel Co.,and Lehigh Engineer graduate, Archibald Johnston. It was left to the Township  by his daughter Janet Johnston Housenick with the stipulation that it be used for passive recreation. Janet also left a $2,000,000.00 endowment with the property for preservation, conservation, education and research of the estate.  

The site with its upland deciduous forest, meadows, orchard, farmland, wetlands, riparian buffer zone, seeps, springs, ponds and the Monocacy Creek is a beautiful part of the Greenway, and offers an amazing amount of educational and service learning opportunities including, but not limited to: environmental studies, green energy retrofitting of the building, environmental and civil engineering studies on storm water management and plenty of invasive species clean-up to keep your hands dirty! 

This property needs your help! Please see attached news article. 

Please Come to the Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners Meeting October 3, 2011 at 7:00pm  4225 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem Township PA to show your support! The use will be discused

The second threat to this property is the planned construction of 420 rental apartments and retail space on the adjacent property owned by the Central Moravian Church. This project will in essence make the park an island, decreasing habitat and greenway space and worsen the already substantial flooding and pollution of the Monocacy Creek. The Bethlehem Township Planning Commission meets on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 7 pm at the Township Municipal Building on Easton Ave. The Zoning Board meets on the last Wednesday of the month, that means tomorrow! Please attend. This development backs up to not only the park, but the Monocacy Creek. It is currently zoned rural residential with one house per acre, but may not be for long if no one speaks up to protect it!

There are few times when we have the ability to act and make a difference. This is one of those times! Please come out to the Estate and walk the grounds if only to enjoy this hidden treasure. I will be available to give you a short history and any additional information that you may want. 

The Estate is currently open to the public from dawn to dusk. 
From center of Bethlehem
Take Rte 191 Nazareth Pike  North
Left on Christian Springs Road
Left at 1st  driveway
Follow to end park in designated area.

Thank you all!
Vicky Bastidas