Natural Area Stewardship Plan for Gambone Property in Whitemarsh Township

There is a “Natural Area Stewardship Plan” for what is known as the Gambone Property in Whitemarsh Township. Below are the opening paragraphs from the plan and you can download it by clicking here. The plan includes a lot of detail and at the end there are priorities and an implementation schedule:

The 23.1-acre Gambone Property (Property) is located in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County (see Location Map and 2010 Aerial Photography in download). It is generally located between Cedar Grove Road to the east, Hillcrest Avenue to the west, Butler Pike to the north, and Hector Street to the south. Additionally, Wells Street traverses through the northern portion of the Property; a PECO powerline borders its entire western boundary; the eastern boundary includes three residences and Cedar Grove Road; and the southern property boundary is shared with PQ Chemical Company. The Property is accessible from a parking lot in the adjoining Cedar Grove Park and a pull-off area on Wells Street. Nearby parks include Cedar Grove Park, Kline Park, and Leeland Park owned by Whitemarsh Township and Spring Mill Park owned by Montgomery County.

Historically, the Property was maintained as an arboretum (see Historical Aerial Imagery (1942) in download). By 1958, the Property appears to be transitioning from the formal arboretum structure to a less manicured state, roads/trails through the Property have increased, and the sewer line appears to have been installed running northwest to southeast across the Property (see Historical Aerial Imagery (1958) in download). Historical Aerial Imagery (1971) shows a transformation of the Property to a more natural area with areas of woodlands, scrub/shrub, meadows, and lawn, and the construction of Wells Street.

This report addresses stewardship of and potential public access to the site’s natural features, including: (1) a description of the natural areas on the Property (2) a summary of stewardship issues and opportunities, and (3) general recommendations to address stewardship issues or fulfill stewardship opportunities.

Natural Lands Trust staff visited the site on two days in 2014. On July 22, we were accompanied by Doug Knauss, Director of Parks and Recreation at Whitemarsh Township. For our second site visit on December 4, NLT staff was joined by John Walker, Interim Director of Parks and Recreation. The Property’s natural resources were assessed and documented by field notes, photographs, and Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection. In addition, a proposed conceptual trail system was identified and located using GPS data collection.