Land Conservancy Celebrates Earth Day by Protecting Land, Hosting Local School

Land Conservancy for Southern Chester CountyParticipants conservation of 100 acres of Starvegut Farm on Old Kennett Road gather to celebrate the finalization of the easement on April 22, 2022: Geoff Gamble, Supervisor of Kennett Township; Mary Kay Gaver; Jake Miller; Margaret Miller Perlis; George Elser, attorney at law; Abbie Kessler, executive director of The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County, and Ed Camelli, board chairman of The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County. (Submitted Image)

AVONDALE, PA — The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC) started Earth Day on April 22 by permanently protecting more than 107 acres of land in Kennett Township while simultaneously hosting the third-grade class from West Chester’s Mary C. Howse Elementary.

Montgomery Property
TLC partnered with Barbara Montgomery, owner and operator of the Farmhouse Retreat and Wellness Center, to protect the Center’s seven acres of woodlands, wetlands, and riparian buffers running along a tributary to the East Branch of the Red Clay Creek. The protections ensure that the woodland will be properly managed in perpetuity and maintained intact by future owners. Travelers along Bayard Road will forever enjoy the beauty of the stream and pond as they travel this route. Ms. Montgomery was thrilled to permanently protect her land to ensure the abundant variety of wildlife seen on the pond, creek, and in the woods will retain their habitat. Additionally, the woodland helps filter stormwater runoff from communities upstream as well as the roads before entering the stream. This helps improve water quality for all who rely on the Red Clay Watershed for drinking water and helps decrease flooding in the area by absorbing stormwater.

Miller Property Easement
After a decade of discussions and work, TLC stated that it is pleased to announce the completion of a conservation easement on 100 acres of Starvegut Farm on Old Kennett Road. The Miller family worked together to protect the farm which the late Dr. and Mrs. Miller owned for 54 years as a tribute to the legacy they left behind.

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“TLC was honored to work with the family to ensure the farm and its natural resources are permanently protected,” said Abbie Kessler, TLC executive director. The property is a jewel within Kennett Township with its combination if scenic beauty and important natural resources.”

The farm’s eased portion has more than 60 acres of prime farmland along with over 30 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and stream corridors that provide a variety of habitats for area wildlife and help protect and improve the air and water quality of the surrounding community.

“Both conservation easements are to be celebrated for highlighting the value of protecting our area’s natural resources and open spaces in the face of increasing development pressure,” said Kessler. “Both projects removed all residential development rights from the eased lands to ensure the properties remain open in perpetuity.”

Third graders celebrate Earth Day at Local Preserve
TLC taught third-graders from West Chester’s Mary C. Howse Elementary School about biomes and the lifecycle to celebrate Earth Day. In the Nature Center, students were introduced to the characteristics of habitats found in Pennsylvania. TLC staff showed birds’ nests and highlighted taxidermy of some of the animals that are found in the area.

Mary C. Howse Elementary School
Third graders from Mary C. Howse Elementary School in West Chester enjoy a day in nature to learn about biomes and lifecycles to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2022.

TLC’s stated mission is to ensure the perpetual preservation and stewardship of open space, natural resources, historic sites, and working agricultural lands throughout Southern Chester County.​​ For over 25 years, TLC has served the Southern Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, and Northern Maryland regions.

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Over TLC’s 27 years, staff has worked with landowners to permanently protect over 1,600 acres. These include a variety of conservation easements, fee simple acquisitions, and trail easements.

The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County and the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance will merge on April 29. Upon completion of the merger, TLC will be merged into BRC. TLC’s easement and preservation obligations will be carried out by BRC.

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