French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has just received a conveyance of 675 acres of woodlands and wetland in the Chester County Great Marsh from The Nature Conservancy. French & Pickering will monitor and maintain the property, and plans to open up a portion as a preserve in 2016. The transfer is part of The Nature Conservancy’s plan to transfer land it holds in the U.S. to local land conservation organizations.
This is a significant conveyance due to the ecological value of this area. Seventy-five acres are in wetlands and contain some of the cleanest water in the county, according to the Chester County Water Resources Authority. This property is located in the upper reaches of both the Brandywine and French Creek watersheds, and remains geologically unchanged since the last ice age, over 10,000 years ago. It features mature woodlands, a rare freshwater marsh and is home to many native birds, including pileated woodpeckers, and rare game birds. The lands are also the site of avian and geology research projects conducted by Villanova University and Franklin & Marshall College.
“We are pleased to transfer the Edward Woolman Preserve at Great Marsh property to French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust as they are in the ideal position to protect and manage the Marsh now and into the future,” said Liz Johnson, Director of Ecological Management for the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “Their vision, commitment to conservation and stewardship plan for the preserve will safeguard the quality of the wetlands, freshwater resources, and the unique habitats of this beautiful place.”