greener neighborhoods

Nature isn’t reserved for big open spaces. It can be found in everyone’s neighborhood. But not everyone’s neighborhood is as green as it could be.

This is especially true in the region’s urban communities. That’s why we’re working with communities like Coatesville, Chester, and Pottstown to help create greater access to green spaces.

A child smiles while climbing on a rope net on an active playground.


Coatesville’s steel manufacturing heritage is woven into the fabric of our nation… from the advent of the railroad to the construction of the world trade center.

Natural Lands is pleased to be playing a role in Coatesville’s burgeoning revitalization by working with the City and other partners to improve neighborhood parks. In 2016, the City of Coatesville, Brandywine Health Foundation and Natural Lands launched the Greening Coatesville Initiative to improve access to outdoor spaces, encourage healthy activity, and build community. The Initiative is guided by Coatesville Parks 2021: An Action Plan for Lively Parks and Healthy People.

Now, we’re focused on making that plan a reality—building a new playground in one day, leading the renovation of Palmer Park, crafting a plan for revitalizing Ash Park, and building local capacity to maintain a park system that matches the needs of residents.

Five children wade in a wide stream with boots on carrying nets for sampling aquatic life.


Pottstown is another of the region’s former manufacturing hubs. Like many of its peers, Pottstown’s major industries declined in the second half of the 20th century, but new businesses and residents are sparking new energy.

Since 2016, Natural Lands has been working to improve the green spaces in Pottstown and the residents’ appreciation of them. That year, we launched Powered by Nature, an innovative outdoor education program that will serve all fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in the Pottstown School District. The goal? To empower Pottstown’s children to be good stewards of the environment, their community, and their own lives. We’re also providing guidance to the Borough on ways to care for the natural resources in their parks.


Located on the Delaware River, Chester was a prosperous and wealthy manufacturing community for nearly two centuries. But in the mid-20th Century, the manufacturing activity that had fueled its economy began to leave.

Here, the parks remain a vital community asset and Natural Lands is working a variety of partners on an open space and park plan that will lay the foundation for future efforts to revitalize the pockets of green in the city.

Support for the Greener Neighborhoods initiative has been provided by Applestone Foundation, AreclorMittal, Brandywine Health Foundation, Louis N. Cassett Foundation, Chester County Community Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, Exelon Foundation, J.P. Mascaro and Sons, PECO, Philadelphia Foundation, Stewart Huston Charitable Trust, and the William Penn Foundation.