New nature preserve reflects county’s desire for green space

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new nature preserve in Silver Spring Township reflects what residents asked for: more green space.

Slowly, people are starting to venture down the new paths that make up the Vincent DiFilippo Nature Preserve.

Adam Waterman of Mechanicsburg was fishing the Conodoguinet Creek because, he said, “There’s a good deep section right there.”

He and his buddies have checked out a lot of spots on the creek, but they say it’s getting tougher these days.

“They’re building too much,” said Nick Daugherty, Adam’s friend, “way too much.”

Amidst so much development in Cumberland County, green space was ranked one of the highest priorities in a survey taken by thousands of residents.

“To be able to provide space that’s not just a house being plopped over here and nowhere for people to recreate,” township parks and recreation manager Kristy Owens said.

The township was given that opportunity in 2014 when a developer offered up 54 acres of land previously occupied by the Silver Spring Golf Course.

“We’re going to do anything that we can as a municipality to protect what’s here,” Owens said.

The preserve has two miles of trails along wetlands, nine ponds, and lots of wildlife. The preserve is named for Cumberland County Commissioner Vince DiFilippo for his efforts to champion a local tax to preserve open space. In the same survey, people indicated they are happy to pay higher taxes to preserve more green space.

“We have noticed since we got the property that a ton of animals have moved in and this is their home now,” Owens said.

The trail head and parking lot are located at 110 Sample Bridge Road.

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