Linking parks, blazing new trails, and protecting iconic landscapes in Radnor Township
At Natural Lands Trust, we recognize that being caretakers of land is about more than mowing turf, pulling vines, and attracting butterflies; it’s also about connecting people to nature.
Recently, Radnor Township made great strides toward this people-nature connection with plans for a new trail system. The Township engaged Natural Lands Trust to design the Darby-Paoli Trail, which will connect three existing parks—The Willows, Skunk Hollow, and Saw Mill Park—through a combination of multi-use and pedestrian paths that will wind along more than three miles of the township’s most scenic and iconic vistas. Natural Lands Trust’s planners also provided recommendations for related streamside buffer plantings, roadway greening, stormwater management BMPs, and intersection improvements.
In addition to designing the trail, we helped Radnor Township acquire land that is critical to their park plans. In 2013, Natural Lands Trust obtained $1,000,000 in grant funding to help the Township purchase and preserve 66 acres of land—once part of the fabled Ardrossan Farm. Those “keystone” parcels, on which the Township settled in late 2014, made possible the newly designed trail. The Township hopes to begin trail construction within the next three years.
“This protection of this land and planning for its future have been top priorities for Radnor for decades, and Natural Lands Trust has helped us succeed through every step of the process,” said Elaine Schaefer, Radnor Township Board of Commissioners. “Residents can now look forward to enjoying it on a hike rather than seeing it with houses on it.”