Another 10 acres of land are now permanently protected from development, thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Rawson family, which donated a conservation easement to Willistown Conservation Trust on October 22. This is the second easement the Rawsons have donated to the Trust, creating a total of 35 contiguous acres of Rawson family land in permanent protection.

The newly protected 10-acre parcel includes 780 feet of Crum Creek and densely wooded floodplain near Kirkwood Preserve. The easement protects the sensitive areas near the creek, establishing a riparian buffer zone that ensures continuing protection for the area’s delicate ecology.

With one primary residence existing on the property, the easement limits the size of the residence and prohibits the construction of additional primary residences and subdivision of the land. Restrictions on architectural details of future improvements, lighting, and fencing further ensure that the property will always be compatible with Chester County rural architecture. The easement also encompasses an equestrian and pedestrian trail easement, which leads to Crum Creek.

The Rawsons prepare to color their property green on the Trust’s protected lands map as Trust staff members Erik Hetzel and Bonnie Van Alen look on.

The Rawson’s generosity represents a significant gift to nature, contributing to clean water and providing healthy habitat for wildlife. As with all conservation easements, the protection granted in the easement will remain in perpetuity, even if the land is sold. As part of its mission, Willistown Conservation Trust will visit the land annually to monitor its condition and ensure that the terms of the easement are upheld.

People like the Rawson family, true heroes of the countryside, have helped permanent protected over 7,200 acres of the Willistown area from development. As shown by a recent census, efforts by land trusts like Willistown Conservation Trust have conserved a staggering 56 million acres across the nation, an area of protected land that is double the size of all the land in national parks across the lower 48 states.