Nature Conversations: Sadsbury Woods Preserve

April 25, 2021

At 508 acres, Sadsbury Woods Preserve is part of the largest remaining, unfragmented woodlands in Chester County. The preserve is an important habitat for several species of birds—such as Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Ovenbird—that are dependent on its deep, sheltering forest for their survival.

Today’s expert is Erin Smith, preserve manager of Sadsbury Preserve. Erin first joined Natural Lands as an intern at our Crow’s Nest Preserve, and was later hired as a full-time preserve assistant. In 2019 she was promoted to preserve manager of a trio of preserves: Sadsbury Woods, Willisbrook, and Green Hills.

Here are highlights from our conversation with Erin, originally presented on our Facebook page.

Sadsbury Woods Preserve

Erin: Hi Everyone, I’m Erin Smith, preserve manager at Sadsbury Woods and am happy to spend some time with you this morning answering any questions you might have

Hi Erin! Do you have a favorite spot at Sadsbury Woods?
Ohh, tough one…..Sadsbury is my favorite preserve to hike, especially the slightly more challenging purple loop (complete with primitive stream crossings!), and for sitting and relaxing there is a bench along the stream near the trail on Old Mill Road

What is your favorite stewardship project going on right now at Sadsbury Woods?
We have a lot of fun and exciting things happening at Sadsbury right now. There is a 20-ish acre reforestation area along Old Mill Road (right near the 30 bypass) that is home to about 5,000 trees that have been planted over the last 20 years. This time each year we add to this planting and are getting ready to put about 300 more plants in the ground this week and next

I had once heard that there were some endangered wild flowers in the Preserve, …near the quarry? I’m guessing that this is the perfect time to check them out. Do you know what species I should keep my eye out for?
This is a fantastic time to look for the spring ephemerals at Sadsbury, and many are visible from any trail! Some that I’ve seen so far this year: mayapple, bloodroot, wild geranium, jack in the pulpit, trout lily, hepatica, rue anemone and wood anemone, and solomons seal.

I grew up across the street from The Preserve. A few years ago I took my husband there, and we found those walls! Such terrific memories. I am eternally grateful to know that those beautiful woods are there forever!
I love the stone walls also! I’m grateful as well, for the fact that land is protected forever, and for the opportunity to manage it:)

Thanks everyone! Hope to see you out there sometime soon!