Community members are continuing their effort to keep the McCormick Farm from being developed. The land is no longer going to the Cumberland Valley School District but it’s exact future is still not clear.
“As a community, we’re all very relieved,” said Silver Spring Township resident Christine Musser. “We want to make sure that it is maintained as a farm…that the conservation easement remains.”
The district planned to build on the 108 acres, but backed out after the governor signed a law making it more difficult to use eminent domain to take preserved land.
Now, the property is back up for sale.
Musser, who led the effort to protect the land, says a nonprofit is interested in the farm, but would need the help of investors to buy it.
“They can’t afford to buy it, so what I’m in the process of doing is writing an investment proposal,” said Musser.
It’s so early in the process, she didn’t specify which nonprofit was interested, but says it would use the farm for agricultural purposes and for a possible cultural center.
But, any farmer, or government agency that meets the new requirements to take preserved land, could buy it first.
Meanwhile, the district has to come up with a plan to handle increasing enrollment.
The district says current enrollment is more than 9,000 students, which means about 1,700 students have come to Cumberland Valley since 2010. The school board is expected to talk about facility needs at its upcoming meetings.
The superintendent told us the district will evaluate it’s existing buildings and properties, and consider buying new land. It would review size, cost, location and neighborhood impact.
Musser is determined to let the McCormick’s local legacy live on.
She is holding a meeting about the farm and McCormick family’s history at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church Sunday at 2 p.m.