New Holland Borough: Postpone public auction of environmentally sensitive land
This environmentally sensitive land located in the Welsh Mountains of East Earl Township Pa is home to the former New Holland Watershed ecosystem. The 500 acre property is owned by New Holland Borough and contains the infant stages of Mill Creek. With its headwaters protected by The Lancaster County Conservancy on a neighboring property, Mill Creek feeds a 9 acre open water reservoir that the borough used to supply its water needs. The acreage surrounding the reservoir has been posted as propagation area creating undisturbed habitat and guaranteeing the purity of Mill Creek within the properties reach. Numerous plant, tree and animal species call this land home. Deer, turkey, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, fox, geese, bald eagles, and brook trout thrive together in a balanced state that can easily be destroyed. But these are just the spokesman for the ecosystem. Beyond the dramatic animal species lies an essential water resource as the surrounding mountains drain their water into this valley and on to the surrounding lowland area, primarily New Holland. Much of the land was taken through eminent domain by the very Borough that now wishes to sell it for profit at public auction.
Important points to remember:
- Much of this land was taken through eminent domain and is now being sold for profit by the very government that took the land
- There are several conservation groups that are interested in the land but simply need more time to come up with the funds for purchase.
- Creative options are available through conservation groups to provide New Holland Borough with a prolonged, sustainable cash flow rather than a once and done lump sum.
- While open water reservoirs have become obsolete due to Department of Environmental Protection standards, this resource could be used as an emergency water supply in the future should New Holland's underground water supply become contaminated or depleted.
- Development and subsequent septic fields would contaminate this water supply rendering future water use impossible as well as destroy rare brook trout habitat.
- Residential development would tax the underground water resources and roadways of the surrounding area.
- This is a chance to preserve (along with neighboring properties that have already been protected) one of the largest woodland areas in Lancaster and the surrounding counties.
- As many as four Endangered Bald Eagles are part of this ecosystem.
- Private sale to a conservation organization has traditionally enabled public use of the land.