In September, WVWA acquired the Byrne Family Preserve, a 15.9-acre farm located along Welsh Road adjacent to Lower Gwynedd Township’s Oxford Park and at the headwaters of the Trewellyn Creek, a major tributary of the Wissahickon.
Purchased at a fraction of the market value, this preservation could only have been possible due to the generosity of Dr. Byrne and his family. As a memorial and a promise to his daughter who passed away in 2014, Dr. Byrne ensured that her vision to preserve the land became a reality.
The property includes two first-order streams, several acres of freshwater marsh, an extensive riparian corridor and the opportunity to restore a disappearing wildlife habitat. Once restored, the Byrne Family Preserve will serve as a model to demonstrate how suburban headwater properties should be managed.
WVWA will complete habitat restoration and riparian repair in order to create a home for wildlife, native plants and vanishing birds of the watershed such as the Yellow Warbler, Northern Oriole and Willow Flycatcher. WVWA will also develop public hiking trails. While the work is being carried out, the preserve will be temporarily closed to the public.
The generosity and commitment to conservation expressed by Dr. Robert Byrne was the driving force for the preservation of his farm. WVWA is privileged and honored to be the recipient of this extraordinary landscape