Oakwell, formerly part of the Stoneleigh Preserve, is comprised of 


*13+ acres of curated, wooded land featuring hundreds of majestic old-growth trees.
*The origin of the Mill Creek, Gulph Creek and Darby Creek watersheds.
*Abundant birds and diverse wildlife.
*Unique historic structures created by landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers and architect Frank Miles Day. 

Lower Merion School District plans to clearcut all of Oakwell for auxiliary playing fields at an estimated cost of more than $10 million. 
Other non-destructive options for playing fields do exist. Oakwell is an irreplaceable Lower Merion resource - a gem
with profound environmental, historic and aesthetic value that should be preserved for future generations.

An impressive show of courage and planning was recently on display by a group of Lower Merion School District Students (ACORNSE), who presented the School Board with a well-thought-out plan to save and preserve Oakwell.   
                                                             THE ACORNSE PROPOSAL

We are bringing this proposal full circle with Oakwell’s past when young women came together during WWI to provide food for our community and named their dormitory the “Squirrel Inn”.

Like a squirrel digs up an acorn in a new season, we are inspired by the resilience of these women, and want to uphold their vision with this new stem of opportunities.

Thus we have named this initiative: ACORNSE

Proposal to Lower Merion School District School Board by:

LM High School Environmental Club (Represented by: Noa Fohrer-President, Willa Godfrey-Vice President)

Harriton High School Environmental Club (Pauline Voelkel-President, Miriam Hafkin-Officer)

Lower Merion High School SAGE Club (Sam Donagi, Julia Dubnoff-Officers)

Harriton High School SAGE Club (Pauline Voelkel-President)

Action Center for Organizing Resilience and Natural Sustain (ACORNSE)

To See The Students Full Proposal Presented To The School Board, Use Your Phone To View The Below QR Code



Please speak out at Lower Merion School Board Meetings https://www.lmsd.org/board/meeting-schedule

click on the specific meeting for details


Please write to Lower Merion School Board Directors  communitycomments@lmsd.org


Please write to your Lower Merion Township Commissioner



Please write to Lower Merion Zoning Board Zoning Officer Scott Houchins. shouchins@lowermerion.org


Some say that those of us who oppose the School Board plan to destroy hundreds of trees for ball fields are pitting the children against the trees. Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course our children are more important than the trees. Our children are also more important than school district programs. Yes, we do understand the importance of school sports. But the greatest threat our children face is the prospect of environmental catastrophe. Environmental degradation will have a more profound impact on our children and their generation than any school program.


The School Board has prioritized its programs before our kids’ futures. They have endorsed a plan for sports fields, and then, having acknowledged that it is an environmentally bad plan, expect compromises be made to support those plans. The School Board has it backwards.


For the benefit of our kids’ future, we first need to commit to avoiding further environmental destruction, and then, given the constraints imposed, devise the best programs possible. Our children’s planet, and therefore our children, come first, not the programs. Our children deserve better from us. Twenty years from now we want to tell them with pride we acknowledged the problem and were were part of the solution, and contributed to saving their finite, priceless natural world.