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Chester County Press

Editorial: The labyrinth of connectivity

07/25/2017 09:44AM ● By Richard Gaw
Let's assume for a moment that an ideology, one that has become the fervent, isolationist driver in the foreign policy of the White House, suddenly catches on in municipalities throughout southern Chester County.
One day, for no apparent reason, each of the appointed and elected officials in every municipality decides to make the same management decision: To close up their gates and hunker down behind their own marked territory, in an effort to double down on cultivating their own brand of nationalism.
“[Fill in the township or municipality here] First!” screams the headline on a township's website.  “We will put the interests of the residents of [fill in the township or municipality here] ahead of any other resident in Chester County!”
Thankfully, when it comes to the collaboration between our local municipalities, such myopia of vision is left for the blind – or the White House – to wrestle with. We are a county of overlapping thoughts, blueprints and initiatives, and the Chester County Press is a living document to chart the formation and course of those plans. We write the stories and weave the players together in a play that gets richer with each passing scene. As read in our pages, it is not uncommon for a township, municipality, conservationist movement, school district or social organization to peek above their borders and seek collaboration with a similar faction dedicated to the same task at hand.
It is with this sense of partnership that we celebrate yet another milestone of municipalities working together.
At its meeting last week, the Township Board of Supervisors signed the township into an agreement with the Kennett Borough and New Garden Township to submit an application for a $2.6 million grant with the Commonwealth Financing Authority which, if awarded, would give the township, borough and New Garden funding to complete projects that would tie them all together in a grand web of pedestrian and bicycle trails, beginning in one municipality and ending in another.
As all three municipalities seek funding, the work is already underway. The Cypress Street sidewalk project. The New Garden Township Greenways Plan. The Kennett Greenway Trail and the planned Chandler Mill Nature Preserve that will someday be a part of it. Open space preservation, and conservation easements, parks and trails in every township and municipality. If created, these trails to connect two townships and a municipality would serve as the latest chapter in a decades-old commitment that has attempted to define the essence of what living in Chester County truly means: To cultivate a sense of place for every resident, through the close comfort of nature, community and collaboration.