On Thursday, Natural Lands  announced 49 acres of the Friends Hospital campus have been placed under conservation easement, permanently protecting it from development.
Preservation of this landscape safeguards historical greenspace in Philadelphia and the scenic views from nearby Tacony Creek Park. The easement also formalizes public access to the property’s woodlands, which the Tacony Creek Trail traverses.

Founded in 1813, Friends Hospital is one of America’s oldest hospitals and the first private nonprofit institution of its kind in the country. Located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, Friends Hospital is made up of historic buildings, lawns, gardens, and a forest through which Tacony Creek meanders. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in 1999.

“Urban green space is essential for the health and well-being of city residents, which makes the permanent protection of Friends Hospital’s campus all the more significant,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands.

Joe Pyle, president of the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, added, “The Foundation is thrilled to place the property under conservation easement with Natural Lands. We are committed to being good stewards of the land and honoring our Quaker roots by using the property to promote healing and recovery for all.”

Funding for this project came from the Commonwealth Financing Authority with funds from the Marcellus Legacy Fund; Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund; Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation; and the William Penn Foundation. Support for the ongoing stewardship of the easement including annual monitoring of the property was provided by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation.