Binky Lee Preserve
Binky Lee Preserve is an expanse of former agricultural land that is being converted back to natural woodlands and meadows. Returning the land to nature actually requires a great deal of care and skill. For more than two decades, we’ve employed a range of restoration techniques to improve these habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive, and for people to enjoy.
More than 10,000 native trees have been planted on the preserve—a process known as afforestation—in an effort to expand the wooded areas. In other sections of the preserve, by not mowing we allow them to return to woodlands on their own. While it won’t happen overnight—and we’ll need to try to mitigate the impact of deer and invasive plants—these trees will eventually and provide critical forest habitat for wildlife.
The original 89-acre farm—which had been named for a previous owner’s beloved horse—was donated to Natural Lands in 1989 by the Seiple family. A 23-acre addition was purchased in 2008.
Binky Lee Preserve is an example of the farms that dominated the Chester County landscape in the 18th century. The barn on the property dates to the early 1800s and, although it has undergone additions and renovations over the years, it retains much of the character of the original structure.
growing a forest
These sloped fields were never ideal as farmland. Their highly erodible soils were easily washed away, making row crop and even hay agriculture destructive to both the land and streams below. But they’ll make great woods!