I’m working on a list of the achievements of the Battle for Slab Cabin Run that began in February 2015, and may or may not have a few more innings to run, depending on current research by several activists.
For starters, the campaign saw 40-50 committed activists, supported by thousands of other community members, raise $40,000 to file a lawsuit and, using the time created by the lawsuit, occupy the Whitehall Road site and develop a viable alternative proposal, that (in combination) delayed Penn State’s $13.5 million land sale to Toll Brothers from December 2015 to December 2017, and delayed the bulldozers from earth moving, tree removal, dynamite blasting and paving in the watershed that would otherwise have started in Spring 2016.
Readers with items to add, please email them to me at email@example.com
So far, the community campaign to protect public water supplies and farmland has:
- Built broad and deep community awareness and concern about regional watershed and farmland conservation and our uniquely fragile local hydrogeology
- Exposed some of the mechanical workings of Penn State’s corporatization, secrecy, lying, corruption, community abuse and contempt to thousands of onloookers.
- Helped township voters elect conservation-minded local legislators
- Given a push to some regional water and land use management planning initiatives that are now underway, including the Centre Region Park and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan; a proposed comprehensive watershed management plan; and proposed mutual aid initiatives between water authorities in Centre County
- Helped mobilize community support for the ClearWater Conservancy Slab Cabin Run Initiative, which successfully raised $2.75 million to protect 300 adjacent acres in the same watershed
- Created space for the re-opening of the Whitehall Road Regional Park master planning and financing process, potentially allowing for a lower-intensity passive-use park combined with installation of rectangular fields for soccer and lacrosse club use at other, more ecologically-suitable regional park locations
- Prompted State College Borough Water Authority and University Area Joint Authority to establish mutual liaisons to each others’ boards, to promote timely communication between water-related public entities
- Prompted C-NET to begin video coverage of SCBWA meetings
- Connected a lot of concerned citizens who didn’t know each other before, and now have strong working relationships with each other.