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Posts categorized Saunders Woods Preserve.


by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager

Paul and luke (2)

Paul and Luke at Saunder’s Woods

I want to send hearty congratulations to two people in Natural Lands Trust’s Stewardship department.  Paul Claypoole recently retired as Preserve Manager at Idlewild Farm and Saunder’s Woods.  Paul worked as the Farm Manager at Idlewild for 20-some years before it became a Natural Lands Trust Preserve.  Paul then signed on with NLT to manage those preserves for another 20+ years.  Besides managing his preserves, Paul also served as the Safety and Equipment Coordinator for NLT.  In this role he researched most of the equipment that you see on our preserves (from weed whips to farm tractors and pick-up trucks).  It will be a long time before I replace all the equipment that Paul spec’d out, so his presence will be around Mariton for many years to come.  He also improved the safety record for our department (it was pretty good before he took the reigns).  Considering the equipment and environments that we work with, this has been an important task as the Stewardship department has grown over the years.  Paul was a great component of the Stewardship staff, and I will sorely miss him.

Luke Hamilton is taking Paul’s position as Preserve Manager at Idlewild and Saunder’s Woods.  Luke started as a natural resource intern at Crow’s Nest Preserve.  From that position, he became a Stewardship Assistant.  Stewardship Assistant’s are full time employees, but their week is divided between several preserves.  On average, Luke spent two days in Bucks County at Paunacussing and Diabase.   He spent another day in Montgomery County at Gwynedd, D’Lauro, or Fulshaw Craeg.  And he spent two days at Mariton.

Luke became my “right-hand man” at Mariton.  I could count on his work ethic, and appreciated his opinions.  He was a natural for a Preserve Manager position.  I think everyone, including Paul, believes that Idlewild and Saunder’s Woods is in good hands with Luke overseeing operations.

Happy retirement Paul.  Congratulations Luke.   Good luck to you both, and enjoy your new roles.

Saunders Woods: Lending a Hand

By Paul Claypoole, Preserve Manager

Spring has sprung, and with the arrival of fresh vegetation around the preserve, the interior of the community center in the lower barn at Saunders Woods Preserve received a fresh coat of paint.

Peter Grove, who has served on the board of Friends of Saunders Woods for the past two years, said at our last board meeting that he would like to freshen up the lower barn area as a volunteer project. The Board had been talking about having this job done but funds hadn’t been available, so we unanimously accepted Peter’s offer.

The Finished ProductSaunders Woods int. kitchen 1

When NLT accepted Dorothy Saunders’ donation of Saunders Woods, which was previously known as “Little Farm”, in 1988, we inherited the Saunders’ legacy of hospitality, particularly within the barn, which has housed local college students, horses, bike riders, and foreign exchange students over the decades. It is a legacy that we carry on with enthusiasm, and to that end, we have been offering the barn’s amenities—a full kitchen, bathrooms, and indoor/outdoor meeting and eating spaces—to community groups, for a nominal fee.

 The painting needed to be done when it was not freezing cold, since the barn is unheated, and before rentals started, so there was a tight schedule. Working with Steve Longenecker (Regional Building Supervisor) on scheduling and picking up supplies, Peter and his wife, Nancy, began painting in the last week of April and completed the project in the first week of May.

 The community center in the barn, which dates to the 1800s, now looks brand new. A big thank you to Peter and Nancy for their interest in making sure the barn looks its best and their excellent handiwork!


Work Party: Restore Habitat for Migrant Bird Species at Sadsbury Woods Preserve

Saturday, April 28
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Sadsbury Woods Preserve, Coatesville, PA

Sadsbury Woods Preserve is home to one of the largest remaining, unfragmented woodlands in Chester County. These woodlands are an essential habitat for neo tropical migrant species – birds that breed in North America during the spring and summer and over-winter in Central or South America, Mexico, or the Caribbean. Join us as we plant trees that will improve the habitat for visiting Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Ovenbirds. Families and groups are welcome.

Breakfast, snacks, lunch, and water provided. Please wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring your water bottle, work gloves, and a raincoat if needed.

This event is free but registration is required. For individual and family registration, click here. For group preregistration, please contact Angela at or (610) 353-5587, ext 266.


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