The Functions of a Friends Group
Friends Groups are formed by volunteers from the community to assist with the care and keeping of a park or structure. Friends Groups are successful and valued by the municipality that they partner with, because they are of single purpose and are able to supply volunteers that possess specialized knowledge, skills and resources that may not be readily available to the municipality. (Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation)
The Friends of Johnston, Inc. was formed by a group of concerned citizens in 2012 to save the Johnston Estate from commercial development as a strip mall and 420-apartment complex.
The Friends of Johnston, Inc. were formed to serve as the umbrella organization to coordinate efforts and to provide specialized skills and resources needed for the development and implementation of a plan for appropriate historic restoration, repurposing and programming for the estate. The Friends of Johnston, Inc. will act as a liaison between the public and the private sector in coordination with the Township of Bethlehem, the County of Northampton, the Housenick Trustees, and all agencies and individuals necessary for the successful completion of the project to highest, best public use.
We will forever be thankful to the descendants of Archibald Johnston, the Central Moravian Church, Northampton County Executive, John Stoffa; Northampton County Open Space Coordinator, Maria Bentzoni; Natural Lands Trust Director of Landscape Planning, Diane Rosencrance; Pennsylvania Audubon Society President, Phil Wallis; Keystone Conservation Trust President, John Rogers; State Senator Lisa Boscola, US Congressman, Matthew Cartwright; the members of the South Bethlehem Historic Society and our citizens for stepping forward to champion this cause.