We need your help.
These are powerful words, and I don’t write them lightly. The Lower Merion School District has indicated it may use eminent domain to take Stoneleigh: a natural garden to build a new school and/or playing fields.
Perhaps best known for the iconic hare sculpture located near the intersection of Spring Mill and County Line Roads in Villanova, Stoneleigh was the beloved home of the Haas family. Following the deaths of John and Chara Haas—whose ashes are scattered on the property—in an extraordinary act of generosity the estate of John Haas donated all of Stoneleigh to Natural Lands in 2016. The donation had a singular purpose: to open Stoneleigh up to the general public, so that everyone could enjoy this natural treasure free of charge.
The Lower Merion School District has previously stated its interest in condemning a 6.9-acre portion of Stoneleigh: a natural garden, so that it can build new ball fields. On April 18, the district sent a letter to Natural Lands stating that it wants to inspect the rest of the 42-acre Stoneleigh garden “in anticipation of a potential condemnation of all or part of the property.” Natural Lands has told the District that we will fight, vigorously, any attempt at a taking.
Unfortunately, saying “no” to the School District will not be enough. We need your help to send a clear message to the School District: should the Lower Merion School District take Stoneleigh, it would rob the residents of Lower Merion and the broader region of a one-of-a-kind community treasure.
I hope you share our commitment to preserving Stoneleigh. You can help us by telling the Lower Merion School Board and Superintendent Robert Copeland that Stoneleigh must remain preserved so that its beauty is available for all to enjoy forever, and that they should look elsewhere for a location for a school and playing fields.
Molly K. Morrison
Here are some actions you can take to help us Save Stoneleigh!
Sign our petition!
Click here to sign our Save Stoneleigh petition. Tell your friends and neighbors that Stoneleigh is in danger and ask them to sign, too.
Contact the School Board
Tell the members of the Lower Merion School Board that you want Stoneleigh to remain a free public garden, not to become a soccer field or school building. Email the members of the Lower Merion School Board at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please cc us on your email at email@example.com
Lower Merion School Board
- Dr. Melissa Gilbert - President
- Mr. Ben Driscoll - Vice President
- Ms. Laurie Actman
- Ms. Diane DiBonaventuro
- Mr. David Federman
- Ms. Debra Finger
- Ms. Virginia Pollard
- Ms. Subha Robinson
- Dr. Robin Vann Lynch
- School Superintendent Robert Copeland
Or, you can mail a letter to the School Board at:
Lower Merion School Board, Attn: Denise LaPera, Board Secretary
301 E. Montgomery Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003-3399
Show you care
Proudly display a Save Stoneleigh sign on your front yard. Wear a Save Stoneleigh t-shirt so the message travels with you.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share our posts and create your own posts and videos using #SaveStoneleigh explaining why Stoneleigh matters to you and the community. Don’t forget to tag Lower Merion School District so they hear how much Stoneleigh means to you! (Facebook: @LowerMerionSchoolDistrict and Twitter: @LowerMerionSD)
Write letters to the editors of the Main Line Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. Post on blogs that you frequent. Spread the word!