On August 26, 2016, Talen Energy and Lancaster County Conservancy announced an agreement to transfer the Holtwood Park property to the Conservancy for preservation and public use. This agreement will fulfill the original intent of the agreement between PPL, Talen Energy, and Brookfield and the partners who have worked for decades to protect the Susquehanna Riverlands landscape and provide recreation, heritage tourism, scenic enjoyment, and educational opportunities for the public. Those partners–Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund, National Park Service, Lancaster and York Counties, and Susquehanna Heritage–have worked with local municipalities and government agencies to protect the most significant natural lands, waterways, riparian buffers, and wildlife habitats for the public. Lancaster County Conservancy is proud to continue providing the lead on this large landscape protection project.
The Holtwood property is comprised of nearly 200 acres and includes offices, a maintenance building, Holtwood park, an arboretum, parking, and Conestoga Trail access to Kelly’s Run. In July the Conservancy announced that it had reached an agreement with Talen to open the parking and access to Kelly’s Run pending this agreement. That access will now remain open permanently.
In an effort to ensure public safety, the old structures, ballfield, and playground at the old Holtwood Park will remain closed as the Conservancy and its partners explore options to address the aging equipment and structures. An announcement regarding Holtwood Park will be made at a later time.
The PPL/Talen Energy/Brookfield Project that envisioned transfer of these lands to Lancaster County Conservancy began with the efforts of The Conservation Fund and DCNR over 20 years ago. Hundreds of acres of open space have been in the process of transfer and protection for the past six years, with an additional 700 lands slated for transfer in late 2016 and early 2017. Altogether, more than 1,700 acres within the Susquehanna Riverlands will be protected and managed as public open space.