Photos of Jackson Park

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Jackson Park has dense woods, open grasslands and a beaver dam.

10.6 acres were acquired in 2007 from Mrs. Jackson and dedicated in autumn of 2008. Now under the stewardship of Abington Township, the property has been named Jackson Park.

It is bounded by Amity Road and Sherwood Road and early plans are being made to create primary access with parking along Meadowbrook Road. Local budget challenges during the 2008-2010 recession may require additional private financing or community involvement in order to move forward in any significant way.

For example, the Abington Environmental Advisory Council celebrated Arbor Day 2009 at the new park. Many neighbors came out to plant a weeping cherry and a garden around the Jackson Park sign on Amity Road. Volunteers also removed exotic invasive vines such as oriental bittersweet and japanese honeysuckle, which are a persistent threat.

The park has four open grassland pastures around the perimeter, a hand-built stone wall and a narrow winding road that connects Meadowbrook Road to Sherwood Road. The crumbling path overlooks a valley to the east. In this valley, there is a dense thicket filled with Pachysandra Terminalis surrounding a small hidden pond. The pond gathers water that then drips into a tiny brook that lets out into the meadow below. This is all man-made, with stone walls surrounding the pond, its small dam and creek bed. Beavers have found a home at this point, building a dam of their own.

Adjacent to the pond are the ruins of a 12 foot square stone building. It appears to be the remnants of spring house, which probably contained straw or sawdust as insulation. These houses were commonly built on a spring or above a stream to maintain a constant temperature. Spring houses were used for long-term storage of food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit or dairy products. It's also not hard to image that winter's ice from the surface of the pond was taken into the house, perhaps remaining cool even in the sweltering hot summers in the Delaware Valley.

The only other evidence of construction, other than the spring house, road and limestone wall in the Park is a concrete step adjacent to the road, but no house or foundtion remains. Jackson Park is a natural wonder that is little-known or used by Abington residents. It enhances the Township's green space. Prior to the acquisition, the Township had 406.4 acres of its own permanently protected lands. Additionally, Lorimar Park is a County Park and consists of 277.7 acres. There are also 544.9 acres of temporarily protected lands, such as Crosswicks Audubon Bird Santuary, The Horse Farm and Hillside Cemetary.

In 2003, Montgomery County voters voiced their support for a new county Open Space Program by approving a $150 million program called Green Fields-Green Towns, which was applied, in part to acquire Jackson Park. This money is earmarked to natural and water resource areas offering towns and boroughs options for "re-greening" their communities, and preserving open space and farmland. The program sunsets in 2013.


Sources and Links:  

2006 Abington Open Space Resouce Protection Plan – PDF 
Abington Environmental Advisory Council 
PA Department of Consservation and Natural Resources
  
Arbor Day Foundation
  

Abington Parks & Recreation
   
Map of Montgomery County Parks
 
 

 

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