about the park

All About Anson B. Nixon Park

The Anson B. Nixon Park is owned and operated by the Kennett Area Park Authority (KAPA). The Board, comprised of nine to eleven individuals, is appointed by the Borough of Kennett Square and the Kennett Township.

KAPA Monthly Meetings are at 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month.

Meetings are held at the Kennett Township Building:
801 Burrows Run Rd.
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Master Plan

The Master Plan Project, which was completed in 2013, provides a vision to guide future enhancements and projects in the Park. The plan was built with broad input from the community including a survey and two public meetings.

Our Story

History of Anson B. Nixon Park

Envisioned by Kennett Township in the early 1960s, planning for a regional park began in earnest in 1986 when the Township and Kennett Square Borough appointed a Regional Park Planning Committee. The proposed site, a total of 106 acres, consisted of 27 acres in the northeast quadrant of the Borough, with 79 acres encompassing land in Kennett Township. The Township portion of the site was leased to the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority for use as a landfill which was closed in 1978. The tract was named "Nixon Park" in honor of Anson B. Nixon who masterminded the landfill project.

walking dog park

The Borough portion of the site included two large stone-lined ponds which were part of the waterworks and water treatment process. The east branch of the Red Clay Creek flows through the tract. Between the Township and Borough's tracts was the "Bloomfield" property, the site of an historic mill operation by the Chambers family dating back to 1794. This property was donated to Kennett Township to be included in the proposed park.

In 1988 the Kennett Area Park Authority (KAPA) was formed as a joint municipal authority of Kennett Township and the Borough of Kennett Square. A Chester County Park Acquisition Grant was received to begin KAPA's plans for the park. Because of the fragility of the property, the landfill site was removed from the plans. Over a period of a few years, an environmental audit and test wells assured that the landfill settlement was proceeding as expected. KAPA took title to the land in 1990. In 1991 another grant was received, this time from the state, followed by the second County Open Space grant.

Anson B. Nixon Park was opened for use on June 12, 1993 for simple, passive recreation purposes. A non-profit support organization, KennParc (now Friends of Anson B. Nixon Park), was created in 1995 to raise funds for park maintenance, formulate infrastructure details, and organize programs. With support from grants, volunteers laid out trails through the woodlands, meadows, and open fields.

anson b nixon park

A permanent restroom, parking lot, improved trails, bridges, picnic pavilion, and tennis courts were soon added. Supported by a large corps of community volunteers, Friends of Anson B. Nixon Park presented summer programs in the park, including an Easter egg hunt, talent nights, and a production of the musical "Oliver."

By 1996 the park promoted a children's playground, five picnic pavilions, nearly three miles of trails with fitness stations, two sand volleyball courts, two bocce courts, a Frisbee golf course, ponds stocked annually for fishing, and a portable show mobile stage. Boy scouts helped with infrastructure improvements and the Kennett Fire Company assisted with parking for large events.

In 2001 KAPA built an entertainment pavilion on the pond bank which has been the venue for theatrical and musical productions. In 2004 Kennett Township donated to a 23 acre former landfill site with plans to create athletic fields for the community. With support from a Chester County Park Facilities grant, generous foundations, corporations, and individuals, the fields opened for play in the fall of 2006.

In 2010, a project was developed to plan for the preservation and reuse of the original Kennett Waterworks buildings. Working with the surrounding community, the plan would interpret the history of the space in addition to providing much-needed community space for meetings and events. The first phase of the project involved the Borough Department of Public Works relocating its operations outside of the Park.

Southern Chester Country Soccer Association entered into a long-term agreement with the Park for the management of the Oreste "Tino" Leto Fields in 2011. The organization has completed large-scale improvements transforming the fields into a premier soccer facility.

In 2016 the old public works area was re-purposed into a new parking lot which can hold about 40 vehicles.  

In 2017 the completion of a new and safer entranceway was installed further up on Noth Walnut Street.  In additional to the new entranceway an additional 15 car parking lot was added near the volleyball courts with two additional handicapped spots.   This  major park improvement was funding in part by the generosity of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Kennett Township, and the Chester County Open Space preservation. Other park improvements include a new relocated community garden with about 40 beds including handicapped accessible beds.   

In March of 2018 the KAPA Board adopted a new logo for the Anson B. Nixon Park and plans are underway install new way-finding and signage thoughout the park. The new park log incorporates the four (4) main elements that make up the park as determined by a field study back in 2017.  Those elements include trees, trails, ponds, and stage/pavilions.   When looking at the new logo you can identify those four elements as represented by the trees, the brown swoosh for trails and fitness, blue for the ponds and water element, and the stage/pavilion for community engagement and entertainment.

Leadership - The Board and Our Mission

Board Members

Kennett Borough

    • Richard Lyon – Chair
    • Pam Carter – Vice-Chair of Community Relations
    • Prissy Roberts
    • Mark McGreevy
    • Caroline Roosevelt

Kennett Township

    • John Gaadt – Vice-Chair of Operations/Facilities
    • Mark Rybarczyk  – Treasurer
    • Elizabeth Swain
    • Craig Kurtzhals
    • Matt Taylor

Board Emeritus

    • Pia McCann
    • Erin Talbert
    • Laurie Mohler
    • David Schurr
    • Janice Taylor 
    • Holly Tyson
    • Eva Verplanck
    • Norris Wright
    • Wendy Walker
    • Heidi Hauptschein, KAPA employee and Board Secretary


The Kennett Area Park Authority (KAPA) is guided by the following principles:

  • • Preservation of an open, natural, and largely passive environment that lends itself to both tranquil and rigorous pursuits, with free access to the general public;

  • • Promotion of recreational interaction among the community's diverse ethnic, social, age, and economic groups by providing a safe outdoor venue that offers facilities compatible with a multitude of social, cultural, spiritual, and sporting endeavors;

  • • Collaboration with other established community educational, cultural, civic, and recreational organizations and institutions to further the principles of this mission statement;

  • • Establishment of an endowment that will ensure the financial stability of the park for generations to come.


Major Sources of Funding for the Anson B. Nixon Park have been provided by:

    • Kennett Township Supervisors
    • Kennett Square Borough Council
    • Chester County Commissioners
    • Chester County Community Foundation
    • E. Kneale Dockstader Foundation
    • Exelon Generation
    • Kennett Square Mushroom Festival
    • Longwood Rotary

Valued Partner Organizations

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