Natural Lands announced on August 5 that it has taken ownership of the 101-acre Meng Preserve in Lower Frederick Township. The property was once the home of Eva R. Meng who gifted the land in her will to Valley Forge Audubon Society in 1994. The preserve will remain open to the public for passive recreation.
“Natural Lands has held the conservation easement on Meng Preserve for many years, ensuring this property would remain open space,” said Valley Forge Audubon Society president Vince Smith. “As the owners of 43—now 44—natural areas across the region, Natural Lands has the expertise to steward and care for Meng. We know it will be in great hands.”
Meng Preserve is a steeply sloped, forested property with impressive outcrops of diabase rock and vernal pools. It is part of a larger landscape—the Stone Hill Greenway—notable for its vast, unbroken forest. This wooded greenway is essential habitat for wildlife, including several species of migratory songbirds whose numbers are in decline such as Kentucky Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird, and Magnolia Warbler.
Eva Meng and her sister, Edna, were avid preservationists. For many years, the property was used as “Camp Ivy” for Girl Scout Troop #3 of Schwenksville to engage in the natural world. The preserve includes two miles of hiking trails, including trails named in honor of both Eva and Edna Meng.
“We are delighted to be entrusted with the perpetual care of Meng Preserve,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “We hope to carry on the great work of Valley Forge Audubon Society by offering regular programs and events at Meng and, of course, encouraging visitors to explore this lovely setting on their own. Like all of Natural Lands’ nature preserves, Meng Preserve will be open daily, dawn to dusk, free of charge.”
Meng Preserve is located along Mine Hill Road, just a tenth-of-a-mile from the intersection of Mine Hill and Meng Roads, in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.