Defending Parks, Preserves & Open Space

Adverse Possession in Pennsylvania

A long-time trespasser may gain ownership of land by using it with no documented challenge for 21 years. Landowners can avoid this threat with some good, basic practices.

Last Modified
Aug 21, 2020
58173 times

Eminent Domain and Conserved Land in Pennsylvania

This guide provides a basic review of the eminent domain law of Pennsylvania and the United States as it applies to conserved land and conservation easements.

Last Modified
Jul 01, 2021
5373 times

Ensuring the Permanence of Parks and Other Public Open Space

Safeguards for Lands Entrusted to Local Government

What legal principles provide the means to reasonably protect parks and other public open spaces? What can local governments do to best ensure that these principles can be successfully applied to any particular property? This guide addresses these questions in the interest of minimizing misunderstandings and conflict regarding public lands, helping local governments take informed action for the public’s benefit, and educating all interested parties regarding the nature of protections provided to public lands under the law.

Last Modified
Apr 29, 2024
174 times

Parks in Perpetuity

The Protections Provided to Parks and Other Public Open Spaces Under Pennsylvania Law

Parks and other public open spaces deliver tremendous benefits to the public and provide a crucial foundation for building, maintaining, and renewing communities. People rely on the permanence of these civic assets in making decisions on where to live and work. Thus, it is no wonder that Pennsylvania law affords great protections to parks from sale or conversion to non-public uses by the municipal governments responsible for their care. This guide describes these protections in brief.

Last Modified
Jun 03, 2021
4718 times

Responding to Encroachment

Oust or Give Permission with Conditions

What should you do if a neighboring landowner encroaches on your organization’s property (e.g., builds a shed or extends their lawn) or otherwise uses the land without permission? Sometimes immediately booting them is the best answer; sometimes making an accommodation that provides them with at least temporary permission makes more sense. Doing nothing invites trouble.

Last Modified
Aug 18, 2022
11386 times