Increase the acreage and clustering of protected economically viable and active farmland.
The protection of farmlands - a critical component of the county's working lands - through agricultural conservation easements serves to preserve Chester County's productive non-irrigated prime farmlands soils. These soils are a nationally significant natural resource that is the foundation of the county's flourishing agricultural economy.
As the Farmland Preservation Opportunities Map illustrates, there is ample opportunity to expand existing protected farmland clusters and create links between existing protected farmlands. This effort should be conducted by the County Department of Open Space Preservation, in partnership with municipalities and non-profit land trusts. Educational outreach would also be needed to keep municipal officials, the general public, and farm owners including Plain Sect farmers current on opportunities for protecting farmland through agricultural conservation easements. In addition to agricultural conservation easements, regulatory tools are also effective in protecting farmland and are addressed separately.
The continued success of farms and farmland preservation is reliant upon collaborative partnerships among landowners, municipalities, the county and other allies. Farmland preservation helps ensure that current and future generations benefit from the economic, health, environmental, and aesthetic benefits that farms bring to our communities.
This map illustrates agricultural conservation easements already in place, as well as future potential opportunities. Potential opportunities were identified by existing land use, prime farmland soils, parcel size, and proximity to existing easements. This map is not meant to depict every potential future agricultural conservation easement, but rather the general extent of remaining opportunities. View larger map.