Land Resources Conservation,
Natural Resources Conservation & Protection,
Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management
Programs: Saving open spacenatural lands is unique among the region's conservation organizations because of how much land we own. We take this approach because, if we own it, we know it will be protected and cared for forever. We currently own 43 nature preserves across two states and 13 counties, totaling nearly 24,000 acres. And counting. Many times, the land we save remains in private ownership but we place it under a conservation easement, which permanently limits a property's (continued on schedule o)use. We currently hold 373 easements on nearly 23,000 acres. Members of our staff visit these properties every year to ensure the terms of the easements are being upheld. Because of our expertise in buying land outright (and in securing grant money to pay for it), we've learned over the years that we can help other organizations and government entities acquire open space by buying it and then "flipping" the land to them. We do this most often for state parks and forests, and for local communities. In addition to buying land on behalf of these partners, we also help them manage the land they own using smart, sustainable, tried-and-true practices. In addition, we help muncipalities raise money for open space, revise their zoning codes to help them retain open space during development, improve their parks, and build trail systems.
caring for natureyou know that old adage "let nature take its course"? That is not always best. Natural areas need help to become--and remain--places where people, plants, and wildlife can thrive. That's why a full third of our staff are committed to caring for our preserves. In fact, this commitment to caring for nature is one of the reasons why natural lands owns so much land so we can actively enrich and restore our preserves, balancing the needs of nature and her visitors. (continued on schedule o)our land stewardship programs include: returning former farm fields to forests by planting thousands of trees. As they grow, they prevent erosion and provide critical forest habitat for birds, bugs, and beyond. Exploring and employing an array of techniques to control the spread of invasives on our preserves. Improving water quality of the creeks that meander through our preserves by planting trees and shrubs along them. Re-establishing once plentiful habitats by transforming retired farm fields to grasslands.
connecting people to the outdoors. . . And to each otherwhen we spend time in nature, we're happier and healthier. Plus, the future of conservation requires that there be passionate nature-lovers to carry on our work. That's why we're committed to creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. Our nature preserves are open for everyone to visit, and are always free. In addition to places for exploration, our preserves allow us to host more than 100 events every year catering to different people with different interests. (continued on schedule o)in particular, we are committed to offering an array of events for children so that the next generation has the opportunity to build a long-lasting connection to the natural world. We also encourage people to develop a deeper connection to natural lands and, by extension, our preserves through our force of nature volunteer program. Force of nature volunteers learn valuable land management and conservation strategies, hone outreach and leadership skills, and meet great people. More recently, we have expanded our commitment to ensuring equitable access to nature to urbanized communities in our region. With partners in philadelphia, coatesville, chester, and pottstown, we are working to set aside open space, improve parks, bring outdoor education to schools, and encourage greening.