The Nittany Valley Water Coalition just finished its first month of occupation of the land at the intersection of Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive.
We are there because Penn State plans to build a sprawling luxury student housing complex on this gorgeous unspoiled open space, which also lies in the watershed of two-thirds of the State College water supply.
Why would Penn State build there? Because it stands to make a $12 million profit on the sale of the land to Toll Brothers, the developer.
Disgustingly, over the concerns of a rising chorus of community voices, including citizens, planners and scientists, Penn State seems hellbent on converting breathtaking scenery and clean precious water into dollars.
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But the community has environmental ethics and common sense on its side: Any child, but apparently not Penn State, knows it is wrong to destroy nature, which is our home and that of our descendants, especially for the financial benefit of a few. And in Pennsylvania, with the Supreme Court ruling on June 20 that citizens have a right to a healthy environment, we now have the law on our side as well. And of course, we have people power, as evidenced by the growing number of residents who are supporting the occupation with signs, letters to the editor, donations and other brave actions.
Penn State, become a responsible land grant university and act in accord with your own strategic plan that values service to the community and protection of our natural resources.
Andrew McKinnon, Pennsylvania Furnace