The Brandywine Conservancy’s Reforestation Campaign will achieve its five-year goal ahead of schedule when it plants its 25,000th tree in East Brandywine Township on April 19, 2014.

The Brandywine Conservancy will plant 600 native trees along the East Branch of the Brandywine at a property owned by East Brandywine Township. Native hardwood tree species to be planted will include redbud, serviceberry, red-twig dogwood, sweetbay magnolia, sycamore, red maple, silver maple, and swamp white oak, selected specially for this important site.

The Conservancy’s extensive campaign is made possible through collaboration with many community partners including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Stroud Water Research Center, Guardians of the Brandywine, East Brandywine Township, Victory Brewing, DuPont, ArcelorMittal, Environmental Resources Management, Inc., PECO, Exelon, school groups, scout groups, and many community volunteers. “The Brandywine Conservancy’s focus on preserving our land and water fits naturally with our ambitious reforestation campaign. We are proud to collaborate with our community partners, working together to improve water quality from the source to the faucet in the Brandywine Watershed in Pennsylvania and Delaware,” said Brandywine Conservancy Director, Sherri Evans-Stanton.

Historical Significance of Forests in the Brandywine Watershed

Forests historically covered well over 90 percent of the landscape within the watershed. This forest cover protected the soil, keeping stormwater from washing it away. Old growth trees and subsequent biological diversity gave the watershed balance and virtually pristine water quality. As the Brandywine Watershed developed, development removed forests, resulting in forested land now comprising only about 28% of the current watershed. As a result, 40% of the Brandywine Creek’s stream miles show substantial deterioration today.

Conservancy Sets Ambitious New Goal: 50 by 50 Reforestation Campaign

An additional 6,000 trees will be planted at multiple sites in the spring and fall of 2014 with the support of volunteers and funds from various grant sources. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society continues to be a primary source of funding in the campaign. “The PHS-Plant One Million campaign, a three state, 13 county initiative to reforest urban and community forests, supports Brandywine Conservancy in their tree planting effort through our TreeVitalize Watersheds grant program and are excited to celebrate their 25,000th tree planted,” said Emma Melvin, Plant One Million Regional Project Manager.

Building on the Reforestation Campaign’s success, the Conservancy has announced an expanded goal “50 by 50,” to plant 50,000 trees by the Conservancy’s 50th anniversary in 2017. The 50 by 50 Campaign allows the Conservancy to further the impact of our targeted water quality improvement. Additionally, the Conservancy continues to hope to inspire additional projects through the visibility and educational opportunity that each reforestation site provides.