‘A Com­mon Oc­cur­rence’ to bring at­ten­tion to a small patch of green in New­town ‘that mat­ters’

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Jeff Werner

NEW­TOWN BOR­OUGH – It doesn’t seem like much – a small patch of grass and a stone memo­rial af­fixed with a plaque. But to town preser­va­tion­ists, it’s a “hid­den gem” that mat­ters to the his­tory of the town.

Tucked be­hind the New­town Bike Shop at North State and Greene streets and sit­u­ated on the banks of the New­town Creek, it’s all that re­mains of the 40 acre New­town Com­mon, which was the cen­ter­piece of Wil­liam Penn’s orig­i­nal plan for New­town.

On Sun­day, Oct. 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the New­town Creek Coali­tion will call at­ten­tion to the area by invit­ing the pub­lic to take part in “A Com­mon Oc­cur­rence.”

“This is a free pub­lic event to in­crease aware­ness of the New­town Com­mon and its need for preser­va­tion,” said coali­tion mem­ber and for­mer New­town Bor­ough Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ju­lia Woldorf. “Adults will play ‘ Com­mon hnowl­edge’ trivia and kids can play games to learn about the fish that live in New­town Creek.” Re­fresh­ments will also be served.

Most of the Com­mon was sold in the late 1T00s with the pro­ceeds used to pay for pub- lic projects, in­clud­ing build­ing the Cen­tre Av­enue Bridge in 1T96.

All that’s left to­day is the small patch of ground off Greene Street, which is threat­ened by the rush of storm wa­ter down Greene Street and ero­sion from the New­town Creek.

“The New­town Creek Coali­tion is in­ter­ested in im­prov­ing the con­di­tion of this area and we are invit­ing the pub­lic to talk about what could be done and to share ideas,” said Woldorf.

Some of the ideas al­ready un­der con­sid­er­a­tion are bank restora­tion, bet­ter stormwa­ter man­age­ment and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of what Woldorf calls “this hid­den gem.”

At 2:30 p.m., Woldorf said ev­ery­one’s in­vited to gather for a group pho­to­graph as part of the na­tional This Place Mat­ters cam­paign, which gath­ers and ed­u­cates peo­ple about cul­tural re­sources and cel­e­brates unique places. It is spon­sored by the Na­tional Trust for His­toric Preser­va­tion.

The photo of ev­ery­one hold­ing a “This Place Mat­ters” sign will be up­loaded to the This Place Mat­ters web­site, www.preser­va­tion­na­tion.org/ take-ac­tion/this-place-mat­ters, and join thou­sands of other pho­tos al­ready posted from around the coun­try.

The New­town Creek Coali­tion is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished in 2006. Its mis­sion is to pro­tect and pre­serve New­town Creek and to en­cour­age ap­pro­pri­ate use of this nat­u­ral and his­toric re­source by the community.

In ad­di­tion to an­nual creek clean-ups, the NCC pro­vides tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and in-kind ser­vices to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and other or­ga­ni­za­tions ap­ply­ing for grants to im­prove New­town Creek. The NCC also in­creases pub­lic aware­ness of the New­town Creek through spon­sor­ship of community ac­tiv­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams. Mem­ber­ship is free

cor more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.new­town­creek­coali­tion.org and www.face­book.com/New­town­Creek­Coali­tion.

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