April 10, 2015

The reclamation of historic sites and the effort to build a regional trail network has become a large part of the renaissance of the Philadelphia region. In this webinar, the creation and development of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail ( and the restoration of the trail's trailhead, the historic Cynwyd train station, is used as a case study in the fascinating interplay between historic preservation, community-building, ecological restoration, and politics.

Really a 62-acre linear park with a trail going through it, the Cynwyd Heritage Trail connects Lower Merion Township, a previously somewhat isolated first generation suburb, with Philadelphia as well as the regional trail network. It is the first and only public trail in the Township. The trail follows the Pennsylvania Railroad line from Philadelphia to the old coal country in Schuylkill County, and served as one of the lines that supplied Philadelphia, then the "Workshop of the World" with coal. It was abandoned by Philadelphia's metropolitan transportation authority for 30 years until the community reclaimed it as open space.

Join us for this conversation with ELP Fellow Sadie Francis.