Stand for the Land
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan
Now more than ever, we must Stand for the Land, ensuring this legacy can survive the challenges ahead.
Sam and Eleanor Morris, deeply committed to open space conservation, founded French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust in 1967 – one of the country’s first nonprofits to use conservation easements to preserve land in perpetuity. Today, what the Morrises ignited has permanently preserved more than 13,350 acres in northern Chester County… and counting.
Since 1967, the cost of conservation has increased exponentially. The laws surrounding conservation transactions have become more complex and the cost of doing business has skyrocketed. As French & Pickering’s preservation portfolio has grown, the cost to defend the conservation values of protected land has also become very real. The Morrises were visionaries but could not anticipate the future cost of maintaining and adding to their conservation successes.
It now costs ten times as much, takes three times as long and requires twice the paperwork to execute an easement as it did just a decade ago. When Sam and Eleanor Morris led the way for conservation easements, 90% of French & Pickering’s easements were donated and only 10% required funding.
But times have changed. Now, 10% are donated and we must raise funds for 90% of new easements to protect our land, with just one conservation staff member to do the work.
Record homebuilding is driving commercial demand for buildable open space, with 11,735 new households projected in northern Chester County by 2025. Tens of thousands of acres may be developed, or they may be preserved forever. The choice is ours.
Increased building threatens the water 54,000 of us in northern Chester County drink, not to mention hundreds of thousands of thirsty downstream neighbors.
Since 2013, French & Pickering has been a vital partner in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative. In the last five years alone, we have preserved 23,500 feet of creek-side property. foundation funding covers only about half the watershed work French & Pickering must accomplish to protect our water in the face of the surging development.
French & Pickering is the only conservation organization solely focused on northern Chester County and our roots run deep.
Stand for the Land is a $6 million Campaign that with its success, will make French & Pickering self-sustaining enabling us to be your local preservation organization in northern Chester County forever. Since our conservation work is forever, we need to be, too!
By 2027, just in time for French & Pickering’s 60th anniversary, the three-pronged Stand for the Land Campaign will fund the Immediate Needs Fund, and endow the Forever Fund and the Conservationist Fund.
It is one thing to execute easements, quite another to ensure they are protected in perpetuity. This fund will generate $62,200/year – funds that are critical to ensure easements are honored, landowners are engaged in the cause, and the land is defended when illegal actions threaten it.
Immediate Needs Fund
French & Pickering has already raised $1.2 million for immediate needs for 2022-2024. We need to raise $885,000 more to:
- Pay for conservation staff ($195,000)
- Maintain and improve water purity ($300,000), and
- Build our rapid action Land Preservation Fund ($1,500,000).
Interim conservationist funding will expire by 2025. The endowed Conservationist Fund will generate $100,000/ year for a highly skilled conservationist to keep up with the increasingly technical and expensive work of conserving land and educating landowners on the benefits of conservation.
Thank you for Taking a Stand!
Keith and Rene Bentley
Robert and Laura Berry
Thomas and Kristen Bissenger
Paul and Cynthia Black
Donna Brennan* and James Bergey
Robert and Shelley Casciato
Anna and Erik Caspersen
Ann and Adam Cathers
Hartley and Barbara Connett
Marie and Les Dalton-Meyer
Kate and Kel Damsgaard
Ann* and Brad Dyer
James and Suzanne Fisher
George and Christy Martin
Hyman and Mary Ellen Gillman
Alan and Peggy Greenwood
Penny and John Hunt
L. Stockton Illoway*
Nancy and Mike Jenkins
Gwen Kelly Klein*
Su Carroll Kenderdine
Cary Leptuck* and Nancy Corson
Shaun and Lisa Mannix
Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation
Sandy and Joseph McKenna
Jim and Joan Moore
Ranney and Terri Moran
Jeffrey and Kathleen Nagorny
John and Shirley Nash
Kirk and Jody Reinbold
David Resnik and Lenore Plotkin
Ellen K. Scott
Ashton and Paige Simmons
Harriet and Larry Stone
Henderson Supplee III
Jen* and Mike Trachtman
Craig and Kim Williams
Bob and Sheryl Willson
Tyler and Tildy Wren
Peter and Eliza Zimmerman
* Denotes a Stand for the Land Committee Member
Thank you for your support and welcome to the French & Pickering family!
French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 charity organization and your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our Federal EIN is 23-6429095.