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The Reporter: MontCo. family, townships, agencies praised for Piszek Preserve

 July 26, 2014

The Reporter

 By Linda Finarelli, 21st-century Media

Land preservation proponents joined county and municipal officials at the Emlen House in Oreland the evening of July 17 for the dedication of the Piszek Preserve, a 33-acre slice of land bordering both sides of the flood-prone Sandy Run Creek in Upper Dublin and Springfield townships.

The land was a gift to the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association by the estate of Edward J. Piszek, a founder of Mrs. Paul’s Kitchens. The transfer was “a 10-year process,” according to WVWA Director of Development Carol Delancey.

Piszek, who died in 2004, left the land to his five children, who in turn gave it to the Copernicus Society, a foundation he had established, said daughter Helen Piszek Nelson before the dedication. She and her siblings pondered “what could we do for people of this area with this property,” she said. Pizcek springhouse

“It was an incredibly difficult thing to pull off,” Piszek Nelson said of the land transfer. “I would hope government and land preservationists could begin to make the process of preserving land easier.”

While she “wished it could have been the 75 acres of open space in the original plan,” she said, “we are happy it’s happening.”

Addressing the assembled guests, Piszek Nelson said, “We hope you’ll enjoy the beautiful view and the land.”

WVWA board Chairman Rick Collier said there were many to thank, but “especially the Piszek family. Their foresight is what really drove this process.”

Noting the many “twists and turns” along the way, Montgomery County Lands Trust Director of Land Protection Jake Lea agreed, “The Piszeks were the ones who stuck with it.”

“This would not have happened without the generosity of the Piszek family,” Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro said. “On behalf of Montgomery County we can’t thank you enough … for stepping up, so this would be here for future generations.”

Springfield Township Board of Commissioners President Jim Dailey emphasized the “cooperation” needed for the land transfer, and Upper Dublin Commissioner John Minehart noted the township “was proud to be a part of this.”

Concluding the remarks, WVWA Executive Director Dennis Miranda said, “This place belongs to you, enjoy it. Preserved open space is here forever.”

The family and the Copernicus Society searched for a builder for the 94-acre property and worked with the Montgomery County Lands Trust to facilitate the land transfer, Delancey said.

Sal Paone Builders purchased the land and has started building homes on the Springfield side but has yet to submit plans on the Upper Dublin side.

“The family wanted to see as much of the [property] preserved as possible,” Delancey said.

The 33-acre tract “of ecologically and historically significant land” was placed under a conservation easement with the Montgomery County Lands Trust at the end of May 2013, according to the MCLT website.

Now owned and under the care of the WVWA, the land is protected from future development in perpetuity and will soon be accessible to the public via informal hiking trails “with views of the Emlen House — a private 18th century estate that served as Gen. George Washington’s headquarters during the winter of 1777 … and also hosted human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Lech Walensa and Pope John Paul II,” the website notes.

It was the home of the Piszeks for 50 years, Piszek Nelson said.

The WVWA now has full ownership “and will make it [the 33 acres] into a preserve,” Delancey said. “Our goal is to preserve the most environmentally sensitive area of the land surrounding the Sandy Run.”

The WVWA will restore the streambank’s more than 1,000 feet of riparian buffer that will help reduce flooding by storing groundwater by removing invasive species and planting native plants, Delancey said. While that process will take a couple of years, a trail, signage and small parking area may be completed by the fall, she said.

Springfield and Upper Dublin townships provided changes in their zoning requirements to allow for conservation design, the MCLT website says, and provided some additional funding in support of the project.

Natural Lands Trust and Local Partners Receive More Than $8 Million in State Funding for Conservation Initiatives

Media, Pa. (February 12, 2014) –

Natural Lands Trust, the region’s foremost conservation organization, announced today that it has been awarded $5.7 million in grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) and the Marcellus Legacy Fund administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Additionally, Natural Lands Trust helped area communities raise $2.7 million for their own conservation efforts. The grant monies will help to fund a dozen conservation projects, including preservation of open space, development of hiking trails, and restoration of wildlife habitat.

“We’re thrilled to be working on so many exciting conservation projects; we simply could not do our work without the funding support we receive from DCNR and others,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “And it’s a great honor to be able to help so many partnering organizations and municipalities find the finds they need to save land and improve their communities.”

“Pennsylvania’s parks and trails, natural areas, and many opportunities to be active outdoors define our communities and make them places where people want to live, work, and play,” said PA DCNR secretary Ellen Ferretti. “We are proud to work with Natural Land Trust and local partners to help them meet the vision for conservation and recreation that they have for their communities and regions.”

Land preservation grants:

The recent grants will help to preserving critical open space in the region, including projects in Philadelphia and Delaware and Berks Counties.

  • In Philadelphia, Natural Lands Trust secured more than $1 million to protect permanently 38 acres of Awbury Arboretum in Germantown. The Arboretum’s 55-acre property contains more than 200 species of trees as well as meadows, ponds, and woodlands. Awbury Arboretum is also the site of the historic Francis Cope House. A conservation easement—a legally-binding agreement—will ensure that the Arboretum, which is open daily to the public, will remain an oasis for people and wildlife forever.”We are very excited to guarantee the permanent preservation of Awbury with this conservation easement,” said Chris van de Velde, general manager of Awbury Arboretum. “We are also extremely pleased that Natural Lands Trust will be our partner in the preservation of the arboretum, as their reputation ensures us of the high quality of the oversight they are providing.”

    When the easement on Awbury Arboretum is complete, Natural Lands Trust will have preserved land in Philadelphia equivalent to both the campuses of St. Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania combined—including 325 acres of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough, the largest privately-owned property in the city. The organization has also helped to acquire 15 acres of land along the Delaware River for development of a waterfront trail and park.

  • In Delaware County, working in partnership with State Representative Nicholas Micozzie, Natural Lands Trust received nearly $1.2 million for the purchase of a much-sought-after property along Springfield Road in Darby Township. The 35-acre parcel, locally known as “Darby Heights,” is the site of Woodburne, a neoclassical mansion designed in 1906 by the architecture firm of Horace Trumbauer for the son of Col. Thomas Scott, a former assistant secretary of war under Abraham Lincoln and president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The mansion was last used by the current owners, the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer, as a nursing facility from 1958 to 2005. The property has been on the market since that time and was slated for commercial development after its re-zoning in 2010. Local opposition to commercial development was strong and officials have been exploring conservation options. This gem of a property, which Natural Lands Trust will turn over to Delaware County after purchase, will serve as the southern trailhead of the planned “Darby Creek Greenway,” a series of contiguous parcels that span three miles of Darby Creek. In the future, the parkland may also include a playfield and picnic facilities, and will provide better access to the west side of the adjacent Bartram Park.
  • In Berks County, Natural Lands Trust obtained an $834,500 grant to purchase 234 acres along Ridgeway Road in Cumru and Robeson Townships to preserve forestland, protect wildlife habitat, and create opportunities for public recreation. Once Natural Lands Trust purchases the land, it will be transferred to the Commonwealth’s Bureau of Forestry as an addition to the William Penn State Forest. The property includes dense woodlands that help protect the water quality of Allegheny Creek, which flows through the property. Once at risk for residential development, the property will now be made accessible to the public for hiking, fishing, and nature study.

Trail and planning grants:

In addition to preserving critical open space in the region, the recent grants will help Natural Lands Trust improve two of the organization’s 42 nature preserves and to begin construction of a new trail in one of the region’s most important natural landscapes.

  • PA DCNR awarded a $20,000 grant through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program towards the development of a plan for both habitat restoration and public amenities at Natural Lands Trust’s Green Hills Preserve, located in Berks County. Natural Lands Trust purchased the property—which had been slated for development—in 2012, establishing the regional group’s first preserve in the county. The plan will guide management and restoration of wildlife habitat at the preserve and the installation of amenities such as parking and trails so that it can be more easily accessed by visitors.
  • Natural Lands Trust received a Marcellus Legacy Fund grant of approximately $50,000 for improvements to the organization’s Sadsbury Woods Preserve, located in Sadsbury and West Caln Townships, Chester County. The 508 acres that make up Sadsbury Woods include one of the largest remaining, unfragmented woodlands in the county. The preserve is an important habitat for birds that rely on dense woodlands for nesting. Natural Lands Trust will use the funds—and a matching grant from the Chester County Preservation Partnership Program—to construct a new 10-car parking area off Old Wilmington Pike, a handicap-accessible trail, and a stream crossing to enhance and extend the current trails at the preserve. When completed, the improvements will make the preserve more visible and accessible to residents and nature enthusiasts from around the region.
  • As the coordinator of the Schuylkill Highlands (SH) Conservation Landscape, Natural Lands Trust received a grant of $213,000 from PA DCNR to support the compatible economic development  initiatives in the towns in the Middle Schuylkill, promote the SH greenway and regional trail initiatives, coordinate outreach activities in the landscape, and fund the SH mini-grant program. The Schuylkill Highlands encompasses most of the Schuylkill River Watershed and the southeastern-most section of the Pennsylvania Highlands. This diverse landscape contains splendid vistas, quiet woodlands, pristine headwaters, rolling farmlands, and a deep cultural heritage in its vibrant towns. The Schuylkill Highlands Mini-Grant Program is open to municipalities, non-profits, watershed associations, and friends groups with a tax exempt 501(c)(3) status.
  • Natural Lands Trust also received a $193,700 grant to support the trail design for a section of the Big Woods Trail connecting Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site to the day-use area of French Creek State Park. The Big Woods Trail eventually will connect the Thun Trail with the Boars Back Trail through French Creek State Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, and the State game lands. The grant also supports the construction of ADA parking access and a trail section in Hopewell, signage, and bicycle racks.

Grants obtained for municipal partners:

In addition to raising funds for its own projects, Natural Lands Trust helped six municipalities in three counties to secure grants totaling $2,701,600. The grants will fund open space land preservation in North Coventry and West Pikeland Townships in Chester County, Radnor Township in Delaware County, and Upper Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County. Additionally, grant monies awarded will make possible a stewardship plan for the 75-acre Rogers Conservation Preserve in Upper Salford and Marlborough Townships, Montgomery County.

Natural Lands Trust is the region’s foremost 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 in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves totaling more than 22,000 acres. Today, millions of residents enjoy the healthy habitats, clean air and water, bountiful recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty provided by the lands the organization has preserved. For more information, visit



Art Exhibition Features Montgomery County’s Natural Assets


Alana J. Mauger, Director of Communications
/ 215-641-6359

Diane VanDyke, PR Coordinator
/ 215-630-6251


Rolling meadows, forests with sparkling streams and favorite park spaces—these are just a few of the special aspects of Montgomery County’s open spaces highlighted in the artwork of more than 50 artists in Montgomery County Lands Trust “Embrace Open Space” art exhibition at Montgomery County Community College’s Fine Arts Gallery, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, started on Oct. 14 and will run through Friday, Nov. 8. The show reflects MCLT’s mission “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 our region’s economy.”

The exhibit provides a unique partnership opportunity for community members in conservation, academic, business and artistic sectors. Sponsors of the exhibit include PECO, Univest Corporation and MCCC Librarian Robert H. Erb.

PECO has been a longtime advocate of conservation efforts in the region.

“PECO’s support of ‘Embrace Open Space’ demonstrates our ongoing commitment to environmental preservation, arts and culture, and education throughout the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Romona Riscoe Benson, manager of Corporate Relations, PECO. “PECO understands that green spaces are an essential part of a prosperous region, and we are proud to support this exhibition, which showcases the importance of preservation through education and the arts.”

Similarly, Univest Corporation supports MCLT and its efforts to increase awareness of the importance of preserving open spaces.

“Univest Corporation has supported and been involved with MCLT since its inception and we are proud to continue this support by sponsoring this exhibit,” said Jeffrey M. Schweitzer, president and chief operating officer of Univest Corporation. “This exhibit brings to light – in a fun and educational way – the natural resources, beautiful farmland, and green spaces so important to the our local community and the mission of Montgomery County Lands Trust.”

Through this collaboration, the partners, sponsors and artists jointly foster awareness of the importance of land preservation and conservation of the region’s natural resources.

“The partnership between the College, the Lands Trust, generous sponsors and gifted artists sets the stage for a vibrant exhibition,” said Dulcie Flaharty, Executive Director of Montgomery County Lands Trust. “We call on the viewer to take an extra moment to look below the surface of the impressive artwork, so as not to overlook the message of education about and conservation of our cherished places.”

Additionally, MCCC’s Art and English departments and students worked together to create a sculpture, appropriately named “Connections,” to reflect the collaborative nature of the overall initiative.

A non-profit organization established in 1993, MCLT, through its leadership, assists with the formation of private and public partnerships to find ways to save and preserve the County’s open spaces and natural resources.  In July 2012, MCLT became an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust, a regional organization that serves eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

For more information about the exhibition at MCCC, contact Gallery Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or .

You can help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of The Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday.


Upper Salford receives $10K open space grant from PECO

Thursday, July11, 2012 Souderton Independent (Montgomery Media)

By Erin Weaver


PECO presented Upper Salford Township with a $10,000 grant during the July 9 board of supervisors meeting.

The grant, awarded on behalf of PECO’s Green Region Open Space Program, will go toward improving the Rogers Hiester property on Route 63. Supervisor Theodore Poatsy acknowledged that the project is not just about open space, but preserving a historical property in Upper Salford.

PECO representative Suzanne Ryan presented the award, commenting that the Green Region Open Space program is highly competitive.

“We have 46 applications this year, 11 from Montgomery County alone,” she said. “The quality of your application really speaks to the dedication of your staff.”

PECO can only offer a limited number of grants to municipalities, Ryan said.

“This year, we only had three grants to award,” she said. “PECO strongly supports open space programs like this. We’re happy to help local municipalities however we can.”

The funds will be matched for an additional $10,000 from Natural Lands Trust. PECO’s grant and the matching donation have already been designated to pay for a consulting study of the property. The goal of the consulting study is to map and locate trails on the property that will be open to the public. Because the property is owned by Upper Salford, it is required to have public accessibility.

The house on the property, however, is an historic artifact and will remain private.

Ecological and Historical Treasure Permanently Protected

MCLTcolorLogoMedia, 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

Historical Landscape Permanently Protected

Northern Montgomery County, Pa (August 24, 2012) – Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT) announced today the permanent protection of the 78-acre Rogers-Hiester property, a long sought-after landscape in Upper Salford and Marlborough Townships that is rich in both natural and historical resources. The property is the gateway to the Unami Forest, one of the largest remaining intact forests in southeastern Pennsylvania, and is home to the 1757 Georgian-style Daniel Hiester House. Plans for the property include restoration of the historically significant structure, the creation of a 75-acre park, and the future development of hiking trails that will connect the property to other regional trails and open space.

MCLT’s $1.6 million purchase of the property followed a 30 month campaign to raise the needed funds.  A wide variety of public and private donors contributed to the effort, including Charles and Maureen Rogers, whose family had owned the property since 1929. Upon purchase, the land was transferred to Upper Salford Township, which will maintain it as a publicly accessible park. MCLT will hold a conservation easement on the property that ensures it will be forever protected from development.

“This is a capstone project for Montgomery County Lands Trust’s two decades of work in the region,” said Dulcie Flaharty, MCLT’s executive director. “During a time when funds for open space are scarce, we are grateful to have partners recognize the significance of this project, one that combines protection of both natural and cultural gems.”

The property is located off Route 63 just south of Sumneytown. Its visual prominence, natural resources, rich history, and potential access to public trails and parkland make Rogers-Hiester one of the most significant acquisition projects in Montgomery County.

 The 78-acre property contains diabase geology, prime agricultural soils, and the confluence of Montgomery County’s only two high-quality streams: Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek. A large portion of the property consists of mature woodlands that are part of the Unami Forest, a notable section of the nationally recognized Pennsylvania Highlands. The land is ideally situated to serve as the linchpin for future connection to both Montgomery County’s 3,400-acre Green Lane Park and the 19-mile Perkiomen Trail just west of the property. With 50,000 users monthly, the Perkiomen Trail connects with the Schuylkill River Trail, linking Philadelphia to Pottsville.

The wooded property is a picturesque setting for a 255-year-old brick manse, originally the residence of Daniel Hiester, noted patriot and statesman. Because it was never remodeled, the house is in remarkable condition, retaining exceptional, unaltered period features. The prominence of this estate was so significant that it was noted on the first official map of Pennsylvania in 1759. The rare combination of natural and historic resources elevates Rogers-Hiester landscape to a status of unprecedented importance, not only regionally but statewide.

Montgomery County Lands Trust was attracted to the project, recognizing that it had ranked for three decades as “highest priority” by the Montgomery County Parks and Heritage Services Department but had not yet been protected. Over the course of several years, Montgomery County Lands Trust worked with property owners Charles and Maureen Rogers to develop a preservation strategy, which was complicated by the necessity of finding funding to protect both the land and the structures.

Funding partners brought substantial resources to the project, including:  $678,000 from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), $342,000 from Montgomery County’s Green Fields/Green Towns Open Space Program, $150,000 from the Open Space Institute, $20,000 from Upper Salford Township, and more than $60,000 in community support rallied by Montgomery County Lands Trust.

“This property was a “Critical Habitat” acquisition,” said Carolyn Wallis, natural resource program supervisor for DCNR. “The land has the highest conservation value in the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape. Two high-quality streams run through it, the diabase geology supports rare and unusual plants, and it is within the Unami Forest Important Bird Area as identified by the National Audubon Society. In other words, it is an exceptional place that needed desperately to be preserved.”

As a nonprofit conservancy, Montgomery County Lands Trust works to preserve and connect the natural areas, farmland, and neighborhood green spaces which contribute to the quality of life, to a clean and abundant water supply, and to the health of the region’s economy. To learn more about the organization, please visit the MCLT website at Montgomery County Lands Trust is an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust.

Dulcie Flaharty, Executive Director
cell: 215-527-4554

Natural Lands Trust and Montgomery County Lands Trust Join Forces

Media, Pa., July 1, 2012 – Natural Lands Trust and Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT) announced today the finalization of an agreement under which the two not-for-profit conservation organizations will join forces. Under the terms of the agreement, which will take effect July 1, MCLT becomes an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust and will continue to pursue its mission to preserve open space in Montgomery County.

“Our paths and missions have been intertwined for many years as both organizations have worked to protect Montgomery County’s natural and agricultural lands,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “We have partnered on many projects over the years; this affiliation will formalize that partnership and allow us to use donor and public support even more efficiently. Our combined resources will make both organizations stronger.”

Dulcie Flaharty, MCLT Executive Director

“MCLT has always excelled in making strong, local connections. That work will continue, but we’ll now have the support and experience of the region’s largest and oldest conservation organization,” added Dulcie Flaharty, executive director of MCLT. “As a land trust, we have a perpetual obligation to the land under our protection. This affiliation will ensure we are using resources wisely and are well positioned to meet that obligation.”

Founded in 1993 at the same time that county commissioners adopted the first Montgomery County Open Space Program, MCLT was established to provide independent, county-wide leadership in the preservation of open space. To date, it has preserved some 2,800 acres through conservation easements and offered support and advocacy for the Montgomery County Open Space program, which has invested more than $200 million in farmland preservation and natural resource protection.

Natural Lands Trust is a regional land trust serving eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding in 1953, the organization has protected more than 100,000 acres of land, including 41 nature preserves that it owns and manages in 13 counties. In Montgomery County, Natural Lands Trust owns 10 nature preserves and holds conservation restrictions on 49 additional properties.

Both organizations are accredited land trusts, a distinction of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, which is overseen by the Land Trust Alliance. Accredited organizations have undergone a rigorous evaluation to ensure that they meet national standards for excellence and will protect land in perpetuity.

“In the 19 years that Montgomery County Lands Trust has been preserving land, we have seen how important it is for a community to save the special places that give it its character,” said Representative Kate Harper, chairman of MCLT’s Board of Directors. “Whether it’s a farm where kids get ice cream and see where their milk really comes from, a ball field for soccer and little league games, a landscape that reminds us where we have been, or a streamside trail that meanders through a township… we feel strongly that the work of preserving these places must continue and that our alliance with NLT will strengthen our ability to make that happen.”

Dulcie Flaharty will continue to serve as Executive Director of MCLT and remain focused on maintaining strong relationships with municipalities throughout Montgomery County. She will also bring her considerable experience to bear on Natural Lands Trust’s regional conservation mission. Two representatives of MCLT—current Board Member John Harris and long-time Director of Land Protection Jake Lea—will join Natural Lands Trust’s Board of Trustees, which will become the governing body for both organizations. A new committee that includes Harris, Lea, and others associated with MCLT will explore opportunities for land protection in the county and advise the Board of Trustees. MCLT will continue to hold conservation easements; staff from Natural Lands Trust will monitor these easements annually.

Peter Hausmann, chairman of Natural Lands Trust’s Board of Trustees, lauded MCLT’s passionate and effective advocacy for improving the quality of life in Montgomery County over the last two decades. “The vision of MCLT’s founders—among them Drew Lewis, Phoebe Driscoll, Hugh Moulton, Art Loeben, and Kate Harper—inspires us to build upon this ‘culture of conservation.’ It is a legacy we are proud to inherit and carry forward.”

“As many conservation organizations re-evaluate their strategic plans in these challenging times, I applaud these two well-respected organizations for thinking ahead and taking their responsibility to the land seriously,” noted Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance, a national service organization for the more than 1,700 land trusts across the country. “Each organization augments the strengths of the other so that conservation efforts will endure in their region. Their foresight and creativity in crafting an alliance will insure that lands they have protected will be here for future generations.”

Natural Lands Trust 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. They employ a comprehensive approach to conservation that includes saving land, stewarding natural resources, and providing opportunities for the region’s residents to connect to nature. For more information, visit

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


Kirsten Werner, Director of Communications, Natural Lands Trust

610-353-5640 ext 267

Dulcie Flaharty, Executive Director, Montgomery County Lands Trust


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