More than 2,000 Acres Saved in the Unami Forest
As a paving contractor, Bob Kulp saw firsthand the development of Montgomery County. But when it came time to sell his own property—a 22-acre parcel of mature woodlands in Marlborough Township—he chose conservation by selling the land to Natural Lands Trust. “Development was never an option,” said Mr. Kulp. “Natural Lands Trust offered me the perfect solution.”
Our purchase of this parcel brings the total number of acres Natural Lands Trust has preserved in the Unami Forest to 2,095. The Kulp property is a keystone in the blocks of open space in this important conservation area, connecting over 1,700 acres in Salford and Marlborough Townships. To the west, the property abuts Natural Lands Trust-owned land at the former Camp Unami and the 1,200-acre Musser Scout Reservation, which is under easement with Natural Lands Trust and Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT). To the east, the property adjoins land under conservation easement with MCLT, which in turn adjoins township-preserved land along the Ridge Valley Creek at White’s Mill.
As one of the largest remaining intact forests in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Unami Forest supports a vast, interconnected mosaic of large blocks of mature woodlands, rocky outcrops, and more than 24 miles of well-buffered streams. The high ecological value inherent in this landscape results from an extraordinary combination of overall size, species-rich forest and meadow plant communities, interior forest nesting bird species, and high quality streams.
The Kulp property is a wooded wonderland and a refuge for neo-tropical migratory songbirds such as Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. In fact, the land lies within the Unami Creek Valley Important Bird Area (IBA). In 1966, Pennsylvania developed the IBA program—the first in the country—to help identify and conserve critical bird habitats. According the Pennsylvania Audubon Society, “Penn’s Woods are critical to many interior forest birds, providing nesting habitat to 17 percent of the world’s Scarlet Tanagers and nine percent of the Wood Thrushes.” The Kulp woodlands—now protected forever—are remnants of a Pennsylvania that was once 90 percent forested.
The Kulp Property will be managed as a part of the Fulshaw Craeg Preserve.
Key partners: Marlborough Township, Montgomery County Green Fields/Green Towns Open Space Program, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources