On February 17, Tinicum Conservancy announced that it has secured two new conservation easements to protect an additional two-thirds of a mile along Rapp Creek. The accomplishment was made possible by the generosity of two landowners: Jim Diamond of Nockamixon, and Michael and Paula Shamlee of Tinicum Township.

In the 1960s it was Jim Diamond, then a professor of Agriculture at Delaware Valley College, who spurred the investigation into chemical dumping along Rapp Creek by Echo Chemical Company (later known as Revere Chemical).  In 1969 Pennsylvania shut down Revere Chemical because of violations. Largely because of Jim’s efforts, the Creek has evolved from its once-toxic conditions to its current Exceptional Value designation, the highest ranking the state can give to a waterway.

More than a decade in the making, the new Diamond easement of nearly 1,600 feet of frontage prevents any surface drilling and limits activities that could damage riparian and aquatic habitats or cause pollution to enter the creek.

“It is the legacy that a landowner leaves to future generations,” Jim declared.

The property of Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee borders 2,000 feet along the Tinicum Creek and is adjacent to the Diamond conservation easement. In this mostly forested location, Michael
and Paula live and carry out the work of their non-profit, Arts of our Times, Inc. Both are highly accomplished artists and photographers.

The Tinicum Conservancy partnered with Nockamixon Township, Tinicum Township, and the Bucks County Municipal Open Space Program to bring these easements to fruition. They represent another step forward in protecting the watersheds of Tinicum, Rapp, and Beaver Run Creeks, and highlight the connectedness of the waterways upon which Tinicum and Nockamixon mutually depend.

Visit Tinicum Conservancy’s Facebook page to watch a video of Jim explaining why he protected his property and the farm he’s loved since 1961.