Brandywine Conservancy launched a new Climate Resiliency Initiative to help local municipalities and landowners proactively address climate change in their communities. Built on over 56 years of experience, this Initiative formalizes the organization’s ongoing internal and external efforts to improve environmental sustainability and brings cross-departmental expertise—through technical assistance, funding, education, planning and project implementation—directly to its constituents to help combat climate issues.

With the Climate Resiliency Initiative, the Conservancy is targeting two types of actions: climate mitigation (direct, tangible efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and climate adaptation (planning for resilience against the impacts of climate change). To collaborate with landowners and municipal partners, Conservancy staff have developed a suite of services to improve land management and strategic planning options at various levels—from addressing individual properties to a full landscape approach—as well as a variety of municipal planning tools to assist with climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. Recently, the Conservancy acted as the lead planning consultant to update the Comprehensive Plans for Malvern Borough and Highland Township in Chester County, PA. These updates included Community Climate Profiles for both the Borough and Township, as well as climate resiliency goals to help prepare these urban and rural communities for future increases in extreme weather events.

“Malvern Borough recognizes the challenges that our changing climate places on our operations, environment and infrastructure. With the assistance of the Brandywine Conservancy, we have been proactive in incorporating climate resiliency-related actions into our most recent Comprehensive Plan,” said Amy Finkbiner, Ph.D., President of Malvern Borough Council. “In a climate that has seen more frequent and intense storms, as well as prolonged periods of excessive heat, the Borough has adopted a variety of recommendations focused on a better understanding of areas of vulnerability. By utilizing the benefits derived from the protection and stewardship of natural resources, and the installation of green stormwater infrastructure, we can both mitigate and adapt to climate change now and into the future. We’re thankful for the expert guidance the Conservancy has provided in this endeavor.

“While Malvern Borough and Highland Township may appear to be opposites in many ways, they were both resolute in their desire to position their municipalities for a resilient future by embracing both traditional and proven-innovative strategies,” said Grant DeCosta, Director of Community Services for the Brandywine Conservancy. Since the Conservancy’s founding in 1967, the organization has protected and conserved the land, water, natural and cultural resources of southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware through a multi-disciplinary approach. To date, the Conservancy has permanently protected over 70,000 acres of land from development, while also helping communities plan for the conservation and management of the region’s natural resources. “These successes have made the Conservancy a trusted partner with state and local governments, foundations, farmers, industry peers and individual property owners, which enables the organization to better collaborate on timely climate actions,” added DeCosta. “The Climate Resiliency Initiative aligns with the Conservancy’s core vision and mission, and it will be instrumental in helping our communities address concerns with flood mitigation, changes in flora and fauna, stormwater management, extreme heat and renewable energy.”

The Brandywine’s internal commitment to reducing its climate impact involves both ongoing and new efforts, including its long-term reliance on native plants to create biodiverse habitats and increased stormwater infiltration throughout its campus gardens and preserves, to the organization’s wind power purchase agreement which now provides wind power to all of the Brandywine’s buildings on its campus in Chadds Ford, PA.

More information on the Brandywine Conservancy’s new Climate Resiliency Initiative and how to get involved can be found at

Photo provided by Brandywine Conservancy.