Measuring Success

How we PRESERVE

2021

The Landscapes3 Preserve Goal is to "Advance the protection and stewardship of open space, farmland, and natural and cultural features to realize economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits." The following success stories represent key examples of how this goal has been realized through the actions of public and private entities throughout Chester County. This listing is not exhaustive and there are many more such success stories to be found around the county.

PhotoNatural Lands Preserves New Garden Farm

In November 2021, Natural Lands announced the protection of nearly 42 acres of land in northern New Garden Township. The Sproat Farm, which straddles Route 1, offers pastural views of farm, fields, and woodlands. The farm will offer access to a walking trail for elementary school children and locals hiking to and from Kennett Square. Funding for this project came from New Garden Township, Chester County's Preservation Partnership Program (PPP), and the Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 3, "Expand protection of natural habitats."

PhotoGlenroy Farm Preserved as Open Space

In January 2021, the Brandywine Conservancy and the Oxford Area Foundation completed the protection of the 577-acre Glenroy Farm in West Nottingham and Lower Oxford Township The land consists of cropland, woodlands, floodplains, wetlands, and five miles of trails. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 2 "Expand protection of farmland."

Photo Credit: Brandywine Conservancy

PhotoNew Open Spaces Connecting to Existing Open Space

Natural Lands acquired 12 acres in East Brandywine Township bordering Struble Trail and Marsh Creek State Park in 2021. The parcel contains an area which is suitable for trailhead parking. Additionally, the Natural Lands McCaffrey Easement included a 35.7-acre conservation easement in West Brandywine Township. This project will increase access to the Hibernia Park trail system and provide for an (approximately) 1,900 foot long publicly accessible trail, while also offering scenic views of open farmland and woodlands. These initiatives help to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 6, "Expand the network of protected open space."

PhotoNew Recreational Opportunities

The Kirkwood Preserve Expansion in 2021 included the addition of 12 acres adjacent to the 83 acre Kirkwood Preserve in Willistown Township. The land will remain in a natural state and open to the public for passive recreation. Additionally, New Garden Township acquired the 7.8-acre Hiles Property along the White Clay Creek for an addition to their 21-acre Chandler Woods Preserve. This project will enable the Township to greatly enhance public access to its preserve and accommodate a parking area. The Hiles Property is also an important link in a trail corridor that will eventually connect to the State's White Clay Creek Preserve. These initiatives help to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 4, "Create additional recreational properties."

PhotoPlum Run Stream Restoration Project

The Brandywine Red Clay Alliance restored 905 feet of highly impaired stream corridor in East Bradford Township in 2021. The project included the installation of streambank and stream bed stabilization devices such as root wads and log vanes. This project concludes a three-year phased restoration of 4,470 total feet of the Plum Run and has greatly enhanced the preserve, which will soon feature a multi-modal public trail and outdoor heritage center at the historic Strode's Barn. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 7, "Encourage restoration and stewardship."

PhotoOpen Space Summit

Chester County celebrated another great year of open space preservation achievements during the 2021 Open Space Summit held on Thursday, April 29. The virtual event was widely attended with representatives joining in from multiple counties, municipalities, land trusts, conservancies, local news agencies, non-profits, and other related organizations. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendations 8 and 9, "Support open space policies and ordinances," and "Convene open space summits."

2020

The Landscapes3 Preserve Goal is to "Advance the protection and stewardship of open space, farmland, and natural and cultural features to realize economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits." The following success stories represent key examples of how this goal has been realized through the actions of public and private entities throughout Chester County. This listing is not exhaustive and there are many more such success stories to be found around the county.

PhotoRed Clay Stream Restoration

May of 2020 saw the implementation of Phase 1 of the Red Clay Creek Restoration project in Kennett Township's Anson B. Nixon Park. This project will restore 4,400 feet of impaired streams and include re-grading the streambanks and planting the banks with native grasses and wildflowers. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve recommendation 7, "Encourage restoration and stewardship."

PhotoProtected Open Space Tracking (POST) Report 2020

In June 2020, the Planning Commission released its annual Protected Open Space Tracking (POST) findings which indicated that 142,000 acres of open space, or 29.3% of the county was preserved by the end of 2019. An estimated 2,400 acres were protected in 2019, making it one of the two highest annual increases in protected open space since 2010. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 6, "Expand the network of protected open space."

PhotoEleven Farms Protected by Agricultural Easements

By December 2020, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board helped fund the preservation of 11 farms in Chester County ranging in size from 10 to 164 acres. The farms included a nursery, two livestock farms, two dairy operations, three equine operations, and three crop farms. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 2, "Increase protected farmlands."

Plum Run Stream and Riparian Restoration

As of October 2020, over 7,100 feet of stream banks and riparian buffers have been restored along Plum Run, which flows south from West Chester Borough and West Goshen Township. The project includes the installation of two demonstration rain gardens, and the planting of over 1,000 trees and shrubs along segments of the stream. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 7, "Encourage restoration and stewardship."

PhotoPublic Space and Fountain at 44 West Plaza

In August 2020, the new 44 West Plaza development opened in West Chester, which occupies the former site of the Mosteller's department store. The mixed-use building features an outdoor fountain which will remain open to the public year-round. This development helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 4, "Create additional recreation properties."

PhotoBrandywine Creek Water Trail Feasibility Study

In August 2020, the Brandywine Conservancy and the Planning Commission released a feasibility study for the Brandywine Creek Water Trail. This study calls for the establishment of a recreational water trail along the Brandywine Creek from Coatesville and Downingtown, south to the Brandywine Creek State Park in Delaware. This study helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 4, "Create additional recreation properties."

Protection of Battlefield Site in Westtown

In October 2020, Natural Lands protected about 10 acres of land along the Route 202 corridor in Westtown Township. The property is owned by the Church of the Loving Shepherd, but was one of the sites of the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. The property is adjacent to the Osborne Hill Farm, a key location in the battle, which was eased in 2018. This preservation helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 6, "Expand the network of protected open space."

PhotoFarm with a 400-Year Old Oak Protected

In July 2020, Natural Lands protected the Great Oak Farm, a 10-acre property in North Coventry Township. The property includes about 640 feet of Pigeon Creek, as well as a 400-year old white oak tree. In 1977, the Penn Tree Committee identified 130 trees believed to be over least 300 years old, of which only 100 remain, including the one on this farm. This preservation helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 6, "Expand the network of protected open space."

New Garden Township Preserves Landenberg Stream Corridor

In December 2020, New Garden Township acquired a 7.8-acre preservation easement on a stream corridor along Penn Green Road in Landenberg. This steeply sloping river corridor is a unique natural environment, and the easement enhances the township’s trail connections. With this acquisition, the township has preserved over 300 acres. This preservation helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Objective D, "Promote stewardship of water resources, natural habitats, woodlands, historic landscapes, scenic vistas, recreational resources, and farms."

PhotoGreenway Mini-Grants Awarded to Municipalities

In December 2020, the Brandywine Conservancy's Brandywine Creek Greenway program awarded seven mini-grants to municipalities. These grants will help implement parks, open space, and trail projects consistent with the 2014 Strategic Action Plan for the Brandywine Creek Greenway. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Objective D, "Promote stewardship of water resources, natural habitats, woodlands, historic landscapes, scenic vistas, recreational resources, and farms."

Castle Rock Farm Preserved

In April 2020, Natural Lands announced the successful preservation of the 54-acre Castle Rock Farm property which straddles Pocopson and West Bradford Townships. The farm is adjacent to other protected properties, adding to the West Branch Brandywine Creek's growing greenway. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 2, "Increase protected farmlands."

PhotoOpen Space Preservation in Honey Brook Township

As one of the premier agricultural production areas in both Chester County and the state, Honey Brook Township's open space program has preserved a total of 35% of their farmland (which makes up 70% of the township) as of May 2020. The program has been in place for 14 years and generates nearly $840,000 each year on average, and helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 8, "Support open space policies and ordinances."

PhotoBrandywine Conservancy's John T. Theilacker Receives Recognition

The Brandywine Conservancy's current Associate Director, John T. Theilacker, who has been involved with planning and land conservation efforts for 37-years, was recognized in August 2020 by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association for his efforts, and again in November 2020 by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association for his leadership as a professional planner. This recognition supports Landscapes3 Preserve Recommendation 7, "Encourage restoration and stewardship."

Nature Preserve to be established in Lower Oxford and West Nottingham

In December 2020, the Brandywine Conservancy and the Oxford Area Foundation announced that they had secured a deal to purchase a 577-acre farm along Octoraro Creek in Lower Oxford and West Nottingham Townships. It will become a publicly accessible nature preserve. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Preserve Objective D, "Promote stewardship of water resources, natural habitats, woodlands, historic landscapes, scenic vistas, recreational resources, and farms."

2019

During 2019, public and private organizations undertook various initiatives that helped to implement the Landscapes3 Preserve Goal: "Advance the protection and stewardship of open space, farmland, and natural and cultural features to realize economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits." The following success stories highlight some of the more notable initiatives.

PhotoRelease of Return on Environment Report

In May of 2019, Chester County partnered with the County Economic Development Council and others to produce the Return on Environment report, which estimated the economic value of the county's preserved open space. The report found an average increase of over $11,000 in the value of homes located up to half of a mile from protected open space. This initiative helped to implement the Landscapes3 recommendation, "Expand open space education."

PhotoOpen Space Summit

In May 2019, than 300 individuals attended the Open Space Summit at the Natural Lands' ChesLen Preserve. The Chester County Planning Commission announced annual protected open space totals which showed an increase of 2,400 acres of protected open space in Chester County. It was reported that 23.9% of the county was permanently-protected. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 recommendation, "Convene open space summits."

PhotoMajor new areas of protected open space

Both these initiatives helped to implement the Landscapes3 recommendation, "Expand the network of protected open space."

Hibernia Park

In 2019, the Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation expanded the Hibernia Park property near Coatesville by over 210 acres.

Bryn Coed

Also, Natural Land completed the multi-year preservation of the 1,505-acre Bryn Coed property, which was an important project for residents of northern Chester County.

Goal Objectives Recommendations