This post adapted from a release by Heritage Conservancy (Andrea Szyper).
Heritage Conservancy has completed the preservation of a 55.6 acre property in Richland Township in Upper Bucks County that is a vital part of Quakertown Swamp habitat.
The Corn Property is adjacent to the 70-acre Heritage Conservancy Quakertown Swamp Preserve, which is a DCNR-designated Native Plant Sanctuary. With its rare and endangered plant species, this property adds to the Native Plant Sanctuary. It also provides an important buffer to further protect the rare and endangered resources in this area.
Quakertown Swamp has long been recognized as an exceptional wetland habitat, encompassing about 518 acres of land in Richland, East Rockhill, and West Rockhill Townships. It is among the largest inland wetlands in southeastern Pennsylvania, home to diverse plant and animal communities. Multiple vulnerable turtle species live within the Quakertown Swamp Preserve.
Designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, Quakertown Swamp supports several rare bird species and is home to what may be the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in eastern Pennsylvania and over 70 species of other nesting birds.
The Corn Property includes forested areas, springs, and habitat for several species of amphibians and reptiles, which are dependent on wetlands. It is also part of a habitat corridor along Bog Run that will link Pennsylvania State Game Lands, Great Blue Heron Rookery, critical salamander vernal pools and migration routes, and breeding grounds for various species of turtles.
The Corn Property contains dense woodlands, seeps, springs, a cattail marsh, grassland meadows, wetlands, and a portion of Bog Run which supports over 70 species of other nesting birds found within the Swamp.
According to the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI), the Quakertown Swamp is one of the largest intact, inland wetlands in southeastern Pennsylvania. It stores water during floods which helps to prevent costly flood damage to downstream areas. Also, its dense plant growth absorbs pollutants from water, which helps to maintain our region’s water quality. Protecting the Corn Property will also help to maintain good water quality and manage flooding issues.
The Corn Property conservation was jointly funded by Richland Township and PA DCNR, and Heritage Conservancy will serve as the easement holder. Marlin and Joann Corn live on the property along with Marlin’s brother, Jeffrey.
Marlin understands the needs for natural land preservation and conservation from the inside out. “I’ve been a big fan of Heritage Conservancy since first becoming acquainted via my work in the environmental education field many years ago, but I never thought I’d be in a position to actually partner in this way,” he says. “It’s a wonderful ‘full circle’ kind of feeling… We look forward to driving past that sign on our way home everyday. It’s going to be nice to be continually reminded of this legacy.”
Funding assistance has been provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund.