Bryn Athyn Open Space Plan


  • Bryn Athyn Borough, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania


In 2005, Heritage Conservancy was retained by the Bryn Athyn Borough Open Space Phase II Committee to prepare an update to the Borough’s 1996 Open Space Plan in accordance with the Montgomery County Greenfields/Greentowns Program.

Bryn Athyn Borough has a population of approximately 1,350 people and is located on 1,216 acres, or 1.9 square miles, in southeastern Montgomery County. The borough was established in 1916 through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. John Pitcairn as a planned community for members of the Philadelphia New Church Congregation. Today, the borough is known as the worldwide educational and Episcopal center for the General Church of the New Jerusalem and as the governmental center of the Lord’s New Church. Both of these churches follow the Christian teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Although surrounded by suburban development, the borough includes many large areas of undeveloped natural areas, primarily associated with the main stem of the Pennypack Creek, which flows through the borough in a north-south direction. A large proportion of the borough is wooded, and most of the undeveloped land is preserved through the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust.

Heritage Conservancy’s responsibilities included analysis of critical natural features and potential open space priority acquisition sites. Working closely with the borough’s Open Space Committee, we reviewed current planning documents and municipal ordinances to evaluate existing protection methods, and we made recommendations for additional tools and techniques for protection and preservation of land.

The plan [3.3MB PDF] was approved by the County in the spring of 2006.

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