Preservation of More Than 130 Acres in Final Weeks of 2012
Media, PA – Natural Lands Trust today announced that it preserved a total of 134 acres in Chester and Delaware counties in the closing weeks of 2012.
“Preserving land can be one of the most fulfilling choices a landowner can make,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “It is, however, rarely a simple decision and we are tremendously grateful to the landowners who chose conservation at the end of 2012.”
Among the projects completed in December were four land conservation easements, one outright purchase, and a land donation that Natural Lands Trust will add to one of its publically accessible nature preserves.
Under a conservation easement, property remains in private ownership, but is protected from future development in perpetuity.
In Chester County, Natural Lands Trust acquired a conservation easement on 10 acres in West Pikeland Township. The property is owned by the Yellow Springs Foundation and is the southern portion of a larger 113-acre parcel owned by the foundation. Eighty-three acres of that parcel have been under conservation easement since 2000. All of Historic Yellow Springs’ lands are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 10-acre easement was made possible by funding from West Pikeland Township.
Natural Lands Trust also finalized a conservation easement on 10 acres in East Brandywine Township, Chester County. The property, which contains the Bondsville Mill mansion, a barn, and wetlands, is immediately adjacent to East Brandywine’s Bondsville Mill Park. The easement on the property is part of a larger conservation effort to protect the mid-19th century Bondsville Mill, a textile mill that operated for more than 110 years along Beaver Creek, which runs through the easement property. East Brandywine Township provided support for the easement.
Also in Chester County, Natural Lands Trust finalized a 12-acre conservation easement in New Garden Township. The property is located along the East Branch White Clay Creek and is identified as a “critical area” by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program. “We love the peace and tranquility of our property and its variety of wildlife,” said the landowners. “It seemed fitting to protect it all with a conservation easement.” The property is a key element in a planned trail that will one day connect the White Clay Creek Preserve with New Garden Township’s Laurel Woods Preserve. Support for the easement was provided by New Garden Township and Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation.
Natural Lands Trust purchased 4.4 acres in Warwick Township, Chester County, which it will transfer to French Creek State Park. Though small, the wooded property will allow improved access to the park from St. Peters Road. A long-standing, informal trail through the property was heavily-used by fire and safety personnel during last spring’s French Creek fire. The purchase will enable park staff to establish a more formal point of access. “I’m so happy that others will be able to enjoy this land,” said property owner Lee Henderson. Chester County Preservation Partnership Program; Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund administered by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Open Space Institute; Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation; and Warwick Township provided support for the purchase.
In Delaware County, Natural Lands Trust accepted a 22-acre donation of land that will be added to its Wawa Preserve in Chester Heights Borough. Parts of the preserve were once used to graze cattle for the Wawa Dairy. The addition contains woodlands and a few small fields, and will bring the preserve to 98 acres.
Also in Chester Heights Borough, Natural Lands Trust finalized a conservation easement on 75 acres of land, one of the largest, privately held, undeveloped properties remaining in central Delaware County. The property is composed of open pastures and young woodlands. The easement was made possible by the generosity of the landowners.
Celebrating its 60th year, Natural Lands Trust is the region’s largest land conservation organization and is dedicated to protecting the forests, fields, streams, and wetlands that are essential to the sustainability of life in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 41 nature preserves totaling more than 21,000 acres and 20,000 acres on which it holds conservation easements.