KARDON PARK is approximately 40+ acres of parkland and 10 acres of ponds located in Downingtown Borough and East Caln. It boasts green space, wetlands, an abundance of trees, the Victims' Memorial, the Woodward Memorial, and the Lions’ Trail. The Lions' Trail, which was donated by the Lions' Club and dedicated in 1984, winds its way from Pennsylvania Avenue to join up with the Struble Trail on Norwood Avenue.
In the past, the area was quarried for its limestone and clay. The quarried-out areas were then used by the Borough and others as a disposal site. The Borough acquired the six parcels of land from 1962 - 1977 specifically to increase the parkland within the Borough. There are even deed restrictions stating that the land is for recreational use on all but one of the deeds.
In 1999 the entire site received Act 2 clearance by the PA Department of Environmental Protection Agency that it was, and still is, safe to use as "recreation and open space".
Kardon Park is also referred to as The Ponds and The Duck Pond. It continues to be heavily used and enjoyed year-round for biking, walking, running, fishing, bird watching, geo-caching, picnicking, sunbathing, pet exercising, ice skating, etc. CORRECTION: The open meadows of Kardon Park can no longer be used as they always had been since the Borough has stopped maintaining the Park. Even after Judge Platt's ruling in October 2010, the Borough Council voted to approve a Resolution to stop mowing the meadows and install signage with the intention to mislead the public that the park is not safe to use and they must stay on the trail. THE SIGNS ARE COMPLETELY FALSE AND MISLEADING. (note: Councilor Feldman recused herself; otherwise, the vote would've been 5-1).
In August 2007 the Borough Council entered into an Agreement of Sale with two local builders, Sarah Peck from Progressive Housing and Jack Loew from Southdown Homes. The developers intend to build over 300 four-story-high stacked housing units plus 20,000 square feet of commercial live/work units that would take up all of the open area of the park, plus completely destroy the marsh and wetland areas. As part of the original Request for Proposal, the builder would construct a new $2.3M firehouse for one of the two Borough fire companies, both of which are independent non-profit organizations.
The cities of Philadelphia and Erie also went to court in an attempt to cash in on public parkland. In the recent Burholme Park case, the Orphans' Court ruled in favor of the park (and against the City of Philadelphia and Fox Chase Cancer Center) under the Public Trust Doctrine and the Inalienable Property Act. Phila and Fox Chase appealed the decision, and the Commonwealth Court also ruled in favor of the park under the Donated or Dedicated Property Act. Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer summed it up beautifully, stating,
"The Appellants (Fox Chase and the City) established their belief that continuing to use the Property as parkland is not the most beneficial use of the Property or the use which best serves the public interest. Certainly, the use of the Property for cancer research and treatment would greatly serve the public interest, as would the City's receipt of rental income.
However, the statutory language focuses on whether the original use has "ceased to serve the public interest. The Legislature did not draft the statute to allow for a balancing of benefits. If it did permit such balancing, every donated park in the Commonwealth would be at risk of being leased so that cash-strapped municipalities could balance their budgets..."