Ecological and Historical Treasure Permanently Protected
Media, Pa. – Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT), an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust, and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) announced today that they have preserved 33 acres of ecologically and historically significant land in Upper Dublin and Springfield Townships, Montgomery County.
“Preserving land can be a fulfilling choice for a landowner and can also provide great public benefit,” said Dulcie Flaharty, executive director of MCLT. “It is, however, rarely a simple decision and we are tremendously grateful to the Piszek family and the Copernicus Society of America for their generosity, patience, and flexibility, and for everyone else involved in this conservation success.”
At the close of May, 2013, 33 acres of the 92-acre Piszek property was placed under Conservation Easement with MCLT; WVWA will both own and care for the property. The land is now protected from future development in perpetuity and is accessible to the public via informal hiking trails. The Piszek family and the Copernicus Society—a foundation established by the family patriarch, Edward Piszek, and which received the property upon his death in 2004—generously gifted the property. Funding to support the project was also provided by Upper Dublin and Springfield Townships, and Montgomery County. The two townships also provided changes in their zoning requirements to allow for conservation design.
“We thank the Piszek family for their enormous generosity and perseverance in allowing this beautiful property to be protected, said Bob Adams, director of stewardship with WVWA. “We are excited to begin work to enhance the trails and restore the beautiful woodland habitats.”
The largely forested property is bisected by the flood-prone Sandy Run Creek; conservation of the land ensures perpetual protection of more than 1,000 feet of riparian buffer, helping to slow and re-absorb floodwaters.
The adjacent property includes a gracious colonial home known as the Emlen House. This 18th-century stone dwelling gained lasting fame when it was used by General George Washington as his headquarters in the winter of 1777. Other visitors to the property over the decades include human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Lech Walensa and Pope John Paul II.
“The family’s path to land protection did not follow a straight line between inception and completion, but there is great satisfaction with the recognition that this green space will always remain natural and open forever,” said Frank Keenan, a representative for the Piszek family.
As a non-profit conservancy, Montgomery County Lands Trust works to preserve and connect the natural areas, farmland, and neighborhood green spaces which contribute to our quality of life, to a clean and abundant water supply, and to the health of the region’s economy. To learn more, please visit www.mclt.org.