top of page

Rose Valley Next 100: Crafting Our Sustainable Future, Notes from the Kick-Off Community Forum

On January 31, 2023, in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Rose Valley Borough, a group of Rose Valley residents gathered to discuss ways to make Rose Valley sustainable for another 100 to come. They painted a beautiful picture of a community that values its history as an arts and crafts community, takes steps to protect the long-term well-being of both its current residents and its natural surroundings, and uses its unique gifts to help the larger community in which we reside.

We asked three questions of those who attended Tuesday’s Kickoff Forum:

  1. What elements of Rose Valley would you like to preserve?

  2. What parts of Rose Valley’s history would you like to revive or reclaim?

  3. What ideas do you have to make Rose Valley more sustainable, environmentally or otherwise?

A wonderful conversation followed. The main themes that contributors addressed were:

  1. The need for historic preservation

  2. Rose Valley’s natural beauty and biodiversity, particularly our trees

  3. Rose Valley’s sense of community

  4. The loss of Rose Valley’s artistic, altruistic, and social justice underpinning.

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation was a strong theme throughout this conversation. Contributors voiced an interest not only in preserving the architecture that we associate with Will Price, but also bringing to light and preserving remnant architecture throughout the borough from pre-Price times.

Many expressed an interest in the community extending our historical preservation efforts to the Lenape history of this area.

Lastly, preserving the institutions of the Borough were mentioned, particularly the Hedgerow and its repertory status.

Rose Valley’s natural beauty and biodiversity, particularly our trees

One of the themes that recurred most often was “trees.” Maintaining the Borough as a wooded space both for the ecological benefits and as a fundamental part of the Borough’s character came up repeatedly. However, the need to maintain and not just preserve trees, both for their health and ours, was mentioned as well. English Ivy was identified as a threat to the safety of our trees, and by extension to our homes and our residents from damaged trees falling.

Alternative means of dealing with fallen limbs and trees were mentioned, such as leaving the wood onsite to provide habitats for animals or using the wood locally for building projects. The need for education around which trees are best for our local ecosystem and the appropriate place to plant trees relative to homes were identified as opportunities for us.

Lawns were mentioned frequently as being a particularly large threat to our environmental sustainability. Reasons given were the herbicides and pesticides that many apply to their lawns, the fact that they provide no ecological benefit, the little stormwater runoff mitigation they provide, and the carbon emissions and noise pollution from mowers used to maintain them.

Growing noise and light pollution were discussed, with much time spent on power leaf blowers and their disruption to both humans and nature.

Contributors also voiced a desire to preserve the Borough’s trails, both the new trail system in the preserves and the Borough’s legacy trails, and to offer more ways for residents to navigate the Borough without the use of cars. Both pedestrian passage along Rose Valley Road and a form of crossing over Ridley Creek were mentioned toward this end.

Rose Valley’s sense of community

Contributors were enthusiastic about the Rose Valley community, both preserving the institutions that offer community now, but also creating new opportunities to commune. The Borough’s lack of a community center or other space where people can socialize for free was brought up.

The ability of children to safely and independently engage with the community was also mentioned as something that we are are losing and should work to retain.

The loss of Rose Valley’s artistic, altruistic, and social justice underpinning

The composition of our community was brought up as being a possible problem. While we were started as an arts commune, those associated with the arts can no longer afford to live here. As a result, we have lost a fundamental characteristic of this borough that people would like to get back.

Rose Valley’s ability to give back to other communities was also addressed. Rose Valley at one time supported artists and thought leaders, and we should collectively work to give back more to the communities around us.

bottom of page