Crebilly Farm Conservation Easements Finalized
MEDIA, Pa., June 29, 2023 – Natural Lands announced today the finalization of four conservation easements on 102 acres at Crebilly Farm in Chester County. These easements—permanent, legal restrictions on development—are one element of a two-part plan to preserve the entirety of the iconic farm, which is one of the largest remaining parcels in Westtown Township and Chester County.
The second piece of the two-part plan is Westtown Township’s purchase of an additional 206 acres of the property for use as a publicly accessible, passive-use park. During November’s election, residents voted overwhelmingly—two votes to one—in favor of the creation of an Open Space Tax, the funds from which will pay for acquisition and maintenance of the township park.
“Following last November’s stunningly successful open space referendum win—which would have not been possible without the extraordinary commitment of the 150 Vote Yes To Save Crebilly volunteers whose efforts were recently recognized with the 2023 Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence—the completion of the easement process is the exciting consequential next phase en route to preserving this iconic Township centerpiece for generations to come,” commented Dick Pomerantz, vice chairperson of the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors.
A conservation easement is a voluntary land protection agreement that permanently restricts development on a particular property. Subsequent heirs or owners of the land are legally required to comply with the terms of the agreement in perpetuity.
“It took more than a village to get us to this place. A team of individuals worked positively, creatively, and cooperatively to save Crebilly Farm,” said David Robinson, one of the owners of Crebilly Farm. “The family has many to thank, including 150 volunteers who worked toward the ballot referendum, the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors and manager Jon Altshul, and our advisors who provided expertise. Most importantly, we thank Natural Lands.”
Added David, “It truly is an amazing endeavor of which everyone can be very proud. Five generations of Robinsons have lived at the farm and have fond memories made over the past 86 years. Now others will be able to create memories at Crebilly thanks to its permanent protection.”
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline said, “Every step in the process of preserving Crebilly Farm brings us closer to the time when everyone who lives in Chester County or visits Chester County can enjoy the beauty of this historic pastoral space. Every element of the plan to keep Crebilly as it should be, has been well thought-out, and we thank Natural Lands, Westtown Township, and the Robinson family for working together to make it happen.”
“The development of Crebilly Farm has been looming for many years. Everyone who has worked so hard to preserve this iconic property will sleep easier tonight knowing the conservation easements are in place,” said Jack Stefferud, senior director of land protection for Natural Lands. “The preservation of Crebilly Farm has been a long, complicated process. We just took a major step toward the finish line.”
Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands—which is member supported—has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves and one public garden totaling more than 23,000 acres. Nearly five million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all. natlands.org.
Please note: “Natural Lands” is the organization’s official operating name and should be used instead of its legal designation (Natural Lands Trust, Inc.).
Kirsten Werner, Senior Director of Communications
610-353-5587 ext. 267