Preservation of Nearly 345 Acres in Final Weeks of 2011
Monday, January 16, 2012
Media, Pa. – Natural Lands Trust today announced that it preserved a total of nearly 345 acres in Chester and Bucks counties in the closing weeks of 2011.
“December is always a busy month for Natural Lands Trust as property owners strive to complete agreements prior to the end of the tax year,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “Preserving land can be one of the most fulfilling choices a landowner can make, but it is rarely a simple decision. Natural Lands Trust has nearly 60 years of experience in helping landowners assess their options and arrive at a solution that balances their conservation and financial goals.”
Among the projects completed in December were four land conservation easements and one outright purchase.
Under a conservation easement, the property remains in private ownership, but is protected from future development in perpetuity.
In Bucks County, Natural Lands Trust entered into a conservation easement on 73 acres in Milford Township. The property is owned by Kenneth and Janet Engelman and borders both sides of the Unami Creek. It is located within the Schuylkill Highlands and the Unami Creek Important Bird Area. The easement was funded by grants from Bucks County Natural Areas Program and Milford Township.
Natural Lands Trust also finalized a conservation easement on 12 acres in Haycock Township, Bucks County. The property, which is located one property away from Nockamixon State Park, is almost entirely wooded and boasts a diversity of native plant species including the rare pineland pimpernel. The landowners and the Bucks County Natural Areas Program provided support for the easement.
In Chester County, Natural Lands Trust purchased 14.5 acres to add to its Peacedale Preserve in Franklin Township, bringing the total acreage to 222. The property, owned by Bob and Susan Schulz, is entirely wooded and includes a tributary to Big Elk Creek. Natural Lands Trust purchased the property with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Chester County Preservation Partnership Program, and Franklin Township.
Peacedale Preserve is one of Natural Lands Trust’s newest nature preserves and includes two streams that flow into Big Elk Creek, which in turn leads to the Chesapeake Bay. The property also includes vast expanses of woodlands and hayfields, some of which will be converted to native grass meadows in the coming years.
Also in Franklin Township, Natural Lands Trust finalized two conservation easements, one for 148 acres and one for 95 acres.
The first property is known as the Ford Farm and is located in close proximity to Peacedale Preserve. The farm’s 4,000 feet of streams are bordered by woodlands that help improve water quality, benefitting the entire watershed. Funding was provided by the Chester County Preservation Partnership Program and Franklin Township.
The second property is owned by the estate of Arnold and Shirley Keen and is located along the middle branch of the federally designated “Wild and Scenic” White Clay Creek. The property is the latest to be conserved in the growing network of protected lands in the White Clay Creek Watershed. Franklin Township, Chester County Preservation Partnership Program, the National Park Service, and Exelon Corporation provided funding.
“Our family is thrilled to have the property protected forever,” said Bruce Mullins, Shirley Keen’s nephew. “This is a fitting tribute to Arnold and Shirley’s love of their land.”
About Natural Lands Trust 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. Natural Lands Trust owns and manages 40 nature preserves totaling nearly 21,000 acres, and has saved more than 100,000 acres of land in its 60-year history.