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25.3 Acres Conserved in Delaware County

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
January 18, 2017
Mae Axelrod, Communications Coordinator
610-353-5587, ext. 400

Media, PA James A. Miller wanted to protect his land in memory of his late wife. On November 15th, 2016, Natural Lands Trust helped him achieve his vision with a conservation easement on his 25-acre property on Lenni Road in Chester Heights. The easement will permanently protect the natural features of the landscape and preserve critical open space in highly developed Delaware County.

“Conservation begins in the heart of a willing landowner,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “Mr. Miller’s decision to forever preserve his beautiful property is a testament to his love of nature and his generosity towards his community. In an area that’s being swiftly developed, his choice to make nature a priority will have impact for generations to come.”

Miller’s land is largely forested, but also includes a meadow and several streams that feed into Chester Creek. With an expanding population in Chester Heights, forest areas such as this provide vital contributions to clean water, healthy wildlife, and the scenic character of the region. In addition, forests help to prevent erosion and flooding by absorbing and filtering rainfall.

Forested streams like those on the Miller property are particularly valuable for wildlife both as habitat and a source of food. Leaves that fall from trees into the stream provide food for aquatic insects that are, in turn, food for larger aquatic species. Miller’s forest, streams, and meadow are home to many native species of mammals and birds.

The Miller conservation easement is located nearby Natural Lands Trust’s Wawa Preserve, which is a 98-acre nature preserve owned by Natural Lands Trust and operated in partnership with Middletown Township. The Miller property is also within view of the proposed Chester Creek Trail Greenway; the easement will preserve the scenic views along that future trail.

This conservation easement is a legally binding agreement in which the property remains in private ownership but is protected from future development forever. This easement was made possible due to the generous support of James A. Miller, Richard D. Wood Jr., Frederick Wood, Richard Wood, and Lisa and Christopher Wright.

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 in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 120,000 acres, including 43 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, millions of people 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 www.natlands.org.

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Barclay Grounds avoids development, will remain a passive park

By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
phillydotcom-default-logo

Posted: January 05, 2016

After nearly three years of preservation efforts, a West Chester park will be kept from development – but the fight for funds is still not over for supporters of the property known as Barclay Grounds.

The Borough of West Chester closed on the sale of the 1.3-acre lot from a private owner, after 21/2 years of efforts to raise enough money to buy it.

“We’re all elated,” said John Cottage, head of the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance, which raised $200,000 for the purchase.

After a new owner proposed building homes on the land in 2013, some residents rallied to save the shady lot, long used as a public park. The effort drew support from locals, officials and preservation groups – and even the owner, who liked the idea of preserving it but couldn’t do it on his own, said West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta.

“The partners are deep and wide,” Comitta said Thursday. “This . . . urban heritage site needed to be preserved and we did it.”

With state and county grants and community donations and loans, supporters managed to cobble together the $1.2 million needed.

The borough drew no money from its own coffers for the project. The Natural Lands Trust and Brandywine Conservancy wrote grant applications to win the borough state money, Comitta said.

The preservation alliance now has to pay back a $144,000 loan it received – Cottage would not disclose the source or sources – to help with the sale.

The group is hoping to raise the funds by selling virtual lots in the park: for $150, $300 or $600, people can buy a symbolic lot through the group’s website as a “personal keepsake.”

The borough could also now generate revenue from the park by selling “in memoriam” park benches or selling the naming rights, but no decisions have been made yet, Cottage and Comitta said.

The land is intended to be a passive public park – no play sets or ball fields – as it has been for years, Comitta said.

“It will get the care and attention it needs . . . for the space to be a great urban park for everybody to enjoy – forever,” Comitta said.

While fund-raising must continue, Cottage said, the “tremendous effort” had reached success:

“I think we can say we did it now, yes.”

Philly.com


610-313-8205
@McDanielJustine

Natural Lands Trust and MCATO Announce “Growing Greener Communities” Award for Montgomery County

Montgomery County Township to be honored for conservation efforts NLTLogo3hMark349C

Media, Pa. – Natural Lands Trust and the Montgomery County Association of Township Officials (MCATO) are calling for nominations for the Growing Greener Communities Award, which honors conservation-minded accomplishments by townships in Montgomery County.

The Natural Lands Trust Growing Greener Communities Award was developed in 2013 to recognize municipalities that have engaged in dynamic initiatives to save land, steward natural resources, and/or connect people to nature. The award will be presented at the spring MCATO conference on February 26, 2016.

Said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “We believe it’s important to recognize the excellent work happening at the township level and celebrate the dedicated officials, staff, and volunteers who make it possible.”

Last year, Montgomery Township received the Growing Greener Communities Award in recognition of the municipality’s conservation achievements. Their remarkable assemblage of 13 municipal parks and protected natural areas make up almost 730 acres of permanently conserved land, almost 500 of which are managed as publicly accessible parkland. The municipality’s exemplary conservation, stewardship, and engagement efforts over more than a decade allowed their submission to shine within the strong group of nominated projects completed in Montgomery County municipalities. The review committee was unanimous in its decision.

“We are pleased to partner with Natural Lands Trust on this award program, and hope that it serves to encourage and promote continued forward-thinking projects and planning within the County,” said Daniel Littley, president of MCATO.

Examples of qualifying projects include:
• Dynamic utilization of open space, such as a community garden or multi-use trail
• Efforts to care for land and water, such as a stream clean up, riparian buffer planting, meadow naturalization, or environmentally sensitive stormwater management
• Progressive, conservation-minded planning, such as ordinances that preserve community green space or improve commercial corridors with shade trees and other greening elements

Details on the award program and nomination forms can be found on Natural Lands Trust’s website at www.natlands.org/ggcaward or by calling 610-353-5587 ext. 267. Nominations must be received by January 4, 2016.

ABOUT: 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 in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, millions of people 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 www.natlands.org.

For more information, contact:

Kirsten Werner, Director of Communications
610-353-5587, ext. 267
267-222-0072

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Natural Lands Trust and CCATO Announce “Growing Greener Communities” Award for Chester County

Chester County Township to be honored for conservation efforts

Media, Pa. – Natural Lands Trust and the Chester County Association of Township Officials (CCATO) are calling for nominations for the Growing Greener Communities Award, which honors conservation-minded accomplishments by townships in Chester County.NLTLogo3hMark349C

The Natural Lands Trust Growing Greener Communities Award was developed in 2013 to recognize municipalities that have engaged in dynamic initiatives to save land, steward natural resources, and/or connect people to nature. The awards will be presented at the spring CCATO conference on March 10.

“Chester Counties’ communities have been true leaders in open space preservation, smart growth, and sustainable environmental policy,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “We believe it’s important to recognize the excellent work happening at the township level and celebrate the dedicated officials, staff, and volunteers who make it possible.”

“CCATO is pleased to be able to highlight the efforts and true dedication of our local government members, the County of Chester, and Natural Lands Trust in the area of open space preservation and maintenance,” said Ernie Holling, president of CCATO. “Efforts to preserve open space will help to maintain the character of Chester County for years to come.”

Last year, West Pikeland Township received the Growing Greener Communities Award in recognition of the municipality’s most recent conservation achievements. West Pikeland’s qualifying projects included the purchase of a trail easement on 27 private acres of along Street Road, which the Township had identified as a Priority Scenic Roadway in its Conservation and Open Space plans. The easement will enable the Township to connect Natural Lands Trust’s Binky Lee Preserve to the north and the Township’s Pine Creek Park to the south by trail. Also in 2014, the Township hired a landscape architecture firm to consult on a 67-acre property that the Township bought in 2013 for $5.2 million. The future park is the largest parcel the Township has ever purchased with its Open Space funds.

Examples of qualifying projects include:
• Dynamic utilization of open space, such as a community garden or multi-use trail
• Efforts to care for land and water, such as a stream clean up, riparian buffer planting, meadow naturalization, or environmentally sensitive stormwater management
• Progressive, conservation-minded planning, such as ordinances that preserve community green space or improve commercial corridors with shade trees and other greening elements
Details on the award program and nomination forms can be found on Natural Lands Trust’s website at www.natlands.org/ggcaward , or by calling 610-353-5587 ext. 267. Nominations must be received by January 15, 2016.

ABOUT: 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 in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, millions of people 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 www.natlands.org.

For more information, contact:

Kirsten Werner, Director of Communications
610-353-5587, ext. 267
267-222-0072

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