Delaware County has purchased the 37.5-acre parcel known as Little Flower Manor for $1.7 million, and will transform it into a public park.

The acquisition ends years of uncertainty and speculation about the property, which has long been owned by an order of Catholic nuns and attracted the interest of developers.

At a press conference at the site Thursday, county officials said the tree-lined property in Darby Borough will serve as a major hub and trail head for the Darby Creek Greenway. A name for the 37.5-acre property will be decided in the future.

Funding included a $1.2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), a $224,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and ACT 13 Impact Fees, officials announced.

The property, named after the Little Flower Manor nursing home that sits just off Springfield Road, will become a key part of the council's vision of a walking/biking trail system connecting to the forthcoming greenway along Darby Creek.

The county bought the land directly from the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer, an order of Catholic nuns based in western Pennsylvania. The county has long eyed the land with intentions to preserve it as open space.

The site was previously valued at a little more than $2 million. The county's plans include modernizing the mansion for inclusion in the public park.

The skilled-nursing home, for which the land was named, was not included in the purchase agreement.