Silver Spring Township residents cannot be stopped in their effort to save the McCormick Farm. Community members continue to fight the Cumberland Valley School District’s decision to buy the land.
Gary Nailor is a dairy and crop farmer in Silver Spring Township.
“We’ve been getting pushed out over the last couple of years,” said Nailor.
He’s one of many residents upset the McCormick Farm is being sold to the Cumberland Valley School District. Several people say the land is a local staple that should be preserved.
“You can’t keep going if you don’t have ground to farm and feed the animals with,” said Nailor.
But the district’s superintendent insists acquiring the 108-acre farm off of Old Willow Mill Road is necessary to keep up with the area’s growing population. There’s been 1,400 new students in the last five years.
The district says initial plans for the land would be to build a middle school. But it’s still very early on and school officials have not yet committed themselves to this idea. In the meantime, the district is contracting with a local farmer.
Cumberland County officials say the school filed a notice that it was taking the land in March, and that the property was assessed around $1.2 million.
Still, that’s not stopping the Natural Lands organization from working to stop the sale, citing a conservation easement.
An effort within the township is heating up too. Christine Musser says residents have been vocal at school board meetings.
“The board needs to remember that they are elected officials,” said Musser, who is from Silver Spring Township. “They need to think about that if they want to remain on the school board.”
Musser created a petition to the board a couple of days ago, and it already has over 100 signatures.
“Having volunteers go out into the other townships within the district to get a petition signed,” said Musser.
The next board meeting is scheduled for April 16. That’s when the school could talk about the budget and the money for the farm.