Landowners Ray and Terry Bentley, through their Moose Meadows Properties, LLC, have generously donated an amended conservation easement to expand the protection of the former Alberta Baker Pew property along portions of the French Creek that flow through Warwick and East Nantmeal Townships. The 138+ acre property features a mixture of forest, meadows, agricultural lands and a nearly 5,000 linear foot heavily vegetated stream corridor. It borders nearly a half mile of Warwick Furnace Road, providing a view into a cluster of historic homes and a vast habitat corridor.
The donation of this has guaranteed the well-being of terrestrial and aquatic species and their habitat. “The protection of these acres ensures the health of the South Branch of the French Creek, deemed an Exceptional Value creek by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection” noted Pam Brown, Conservation Director for French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. “As water passes through this protected landscape, water quality greatly improves,” Brown added.
The property was part of the original 1976 Pew easement, which protected certain undevelopable areas of the properties while leaving the majority open to development. This is the last property under the 1976 easement to undergo an amended easement, bringing it up to current standards and eliminating future subdivisions and development.
Through a collaboration with East Coventry Township and Chester County, French & Pickering has also purchased a conservation easement on a 37.6-acre agricultural property on Ellis Woods Road. Owned by Dave and Gail Nesspor, the land is actively farmed and features a 1700’s farmstead.
Highly visible from Ebelhare and Ellis Woods Roads, the property has been a conservation priority for the township, based on its high development potential. “This farm increases the protected land corridor in this area and prohibits any chance of subdivision and primary residence development,” noted Pam Brown. Only one accessory dwelling will be permitted, along with some additional agricultural structures.
Retiring township supervisor Karen Nocella led the conservation efforts for the township and was instrumental in negotiating this agreement with the Nesspors. Dave and Gail are committed to keeping the land an active farm for their children and grandchildren. “Living in East Coventry Township for more than 40 years has made me appreciate and value open space,” commented Supervisor Nocella. “It is not what it used to be, but every time I have an opportunity to preserve a beautiful farm like Nesspor’s, I jump! This farm just keeps on giving with its beautiful views and vistas and makes us grateful for what we have.”
French & Pickering extends their gratitude to the Bentleys and Nesspors for the opportunity to ensure the protection of these lands in perpetuity.
About French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust
Since 1967, French & Pickering has protected more than 13,500 acres in northern Chester County through purchases, conservation easements and public/private partnerships. The non-profit organization works with landowners, townships, foundations and the state and county to purchase and monitor conservation easements, create parkland, and preserve environmentally sensitive land.
Public Access to Preserved Lands
Now more than ever, outside recreational opportunities are important to our mental and physical health. These French & Pickering properties are open to the public and contain miles of marked hiking trails and scenic views:
The Templin Woods Preserve in East Nantmeal Township is over 550 acres of woodland wildlife habitat. This valuable natural space is home to many species of birds and mammals and is an important source of clean water for the Great Marsh ecosystem.
The 108-acre Thomas P. Bentley Nature Preserve, located in East Nantmeal and Warwick Townships includes the ruins of the Warwick Iron Furnace and the Exceptional Value south branch of the French Creek and is recognized as a “Birding Hot Spot” by the Valley Forge Audubon Society.