History of the MTLC
The Middletown Township Land Conservancy (MTLC) was formed in 1981 when a group of neighbors joined together to preserve from development the 36 acre Indian Orchard Girl Scout property which was being offered for sale. This natural area was one of the few available, undeveloped large tracts of land in a sea of houses and included 100 to 200 year old trees, three streams that are part of the Chester Creek watershed and a rich habitat for small animals and numerous migratory and nesting birds.
Herman and Edith Cope, who owned the adjacent farm, purchased the property in 1919. In 1932 the Girl Scouts were invited to use this wooded park for their camping area and, subsequently, purchased the property from the Swan family in 1952. Fred Swan married Sarah Cope in 1936 and they moved to the farm in 1972 when they retired. The Swan’s daughter, Nancy Bernhardt, and her family, the current owners of the farm, moved to the property in 1973. And so it was in 1981, that the Swans and Bernhardts and one of those concerned neighbors, Lou Fournier of Cricket Lane, became the prime movers in an effort to persuade the Township to purchase the former Girl Scout camp for a passive recreation park. The Township was awarded a grant of $75,000 from the Federal government, while a fund raising drive was begun by the newly incorporated Middletown Township Land Conservancy to supplement the Township funds necessary to reach the approximate $225,000 purchase price. Indian Orchard Park was officially dedicated by Township officials on September 21, 1985.