Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Pocono Heritage Land Trust: It's About Keeping Promises, Harry Texler's Legacy Under Threat In Monroe County

By Carol Hillestad

Harry Trexler was a man of many interests.

Starting in the late 1800s, he founded or ran huge operations in and around Allentown: a nationally-known lumber company, one of the largest cement producers in the world, enormous farms and orchards. He was even a founder of Pennsylvania Power and Light.

Harry Trexler was an industry giant, extremely wealthy … and at the same time, a dedicated, conservation-minded man.

He was the father of Allentown’s public park system, owner of a trout hatchery, creator of the Trexler Game Preserve, and an avid outdoorsman who devoted huge sums to conserve land for the public to use and enjoy. 

He bought and preserved the land that would become Hickory Run State Park, one of the jewels of our state park system, welcoming 300,000 visitors a year.

In 1928, he — helped by neighboring families — donated 755 acres of springs, wetlands, wildlife and woodlands in Polk Township in Monroe County to be a wilderness camp, run by the Boy Scouts, for the benefit of generations to come.

Camp Trexler still exists, one of the last stretches of pristine woodland in the township. But its founders’ vision is under threat.

After 94 years, the place where thousands of Scouts made lifetime memories — hiking, fishing, learning to “be prepared,” to tell the truth and keep promises — may be going up for sale.

It could become a housing development. A trash transfer station. It could be clear-cut and timbered, instead of remaining the beautiful, wild land Harry Trexler and neighboring farmers intended.

There is another option.

Pocono Heritage Land Trust is working to acquire this property, conserve it permanently, and keep it open to the public.

No McMansions. No industry. Just the priceless land itself, a legacy of natural beauty for generations to come, as the donors envisioned.

Minsi Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America makes the decisions about this land. It is up to the board members to choose the path to the future.

Will they be true to the principles of Scouting and keep faith with the givers of this special place? Will they honor all those whose lifelong memories of camping here consecrate this land? Will the promise of Camp Trexler be kept?

Or not?

You Should Know

If Camp Trexler land were converted to housing, dozens of homes could be built there under current zoning. In addition to traffic, road damage, sewage, and water issues, each school-age child would add $22,000 to the school district’s costs. Property taxes on the new construction would fall far short of that; shortfalls would be made up by other taxpayers.

If Camp Trexler land were converted to industrial use, such as a transfer station, heavy equipment like trash haulers would burden traffic and roads, create noise and air pollution, and damage quality of life for everyone.

For more than 30 years, Pocono Heritage Land Trust has helped landowners protect their property for the future. The land trust itself also holds more than 4,000 acres, protected in perpetuity. Camp Trexler adjoins land that the land trust has already conserved. Join us. Help protect this rare and beautiful place!

Your Voice Counts!

Tell the Boy Scouts Minsi Trails Council: Keep your promise!

Work with Pocono Heritage Land Trust to protect Camp Trexler for good.

Email richardd.christ@scouting.org or call 610-264-8551.

For more information on land conservation, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Pocono Heritage Land Trust website.  Explore Our Nature Preserves.   Follow them on FacebookClick Here to sign up for email updates (bottom of page).

Founded in 1984, Pocono Heritage Land Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the natural heritage of the Pocono Mountains region by conserving land and inspiring people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world.

Related Article:

-- Gov. Wolf Celebrates Creation Of 3 New State Parks In Chester, Wyoming And York Counties  [PaEN]

[Posted: September 27, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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