By Eric Devlin, The Mercury
East Coventry >> Work has begun recently on a new public hiking and equestrian trail that will help connect several acres of open space in the township.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” said East Coventry Township Supervisor Karen Nocella. “It’s going to be pretty cool. “
The 1.4 mile trail located on the Ussler farm property will travel through fields and woods, and cross Schoolhouse Road before connecting with the Maack Property trail easement. It’s part of the township’s larger open space referendum of acquiring conservation easements for public use. The approximately $550,000 project is tentatively slated to open this spring, Nocella said.
“It’s really cool it goes along the edge of Pigeon Creek Park,” Nocella said,
noting the various benches for people to sit and an Maack farm historic stone wall the township hopes to see restored.
The Maack farm property features 30 acres of protected open space and 60 acres of agricultural farming. Currently there is a walking trail around the agricultural easement. Officials handling the project were able to blend the agricultural and public areas.
Natural Land Trust has partnered with the township to help get the Ussler trail project off the ground by writing the natural parks and open space plan and instrumenting the conservation easement and trail easement, Nocella said.
“The township did a great job in protecting the real character of the township,” said Jack Stefferud, senior director of land protection at Natural Lands Trust. “This is one more piece of the protected lands in East Coventry Township.”
East Coventry Township Manager Bernie Rodgers said the township and Natural Lands Trust received a state grant from the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources to help purchase trail easement on the Ussler farm. The township used funds generated from the open space referendum tax to pay for the acquisition. It also applied to the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation for a grant cover the cost of installing the trail.
“People should know East Coventry Township is doing their part to save as much open space as we can,” Nocella said. “It’s a really cool little place to live and a great place to raise family.”