What we do
Have you ever splashed in a local creek on a hot summer day? Or driven down one of the many winding country roads and admired the stunning vistas? There is a good chance that those experiences were made possible in part by the work that French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has done.
Since French & Pickering was established in 1967, the organization has worked with landowners, townships, foundations and the state and county to purchase and monitor conservation easements, create parkland and preserve environmentally sensitive land leading to the protection of more than 13,350 acres in northern Chester County.
French & Pickering works daily to protect the scenic and cultural landscapes that surround you, to create opportunities for you and your family to connect with nature through public trails, nature preserves and environmental education opportunities and to protect critical habitat and ecosystems for the non-human residents in our neighborhood.
Preserve Your Property
French & Pickering is the only conservation organization focusing solely on beautiful northern Chester County. As a non-profit organization, we work in cooperation with landowners to permanently preserve land in the community primarily through conservation easements that benefit public interest.
When landowners place their property under conservation easement with French & Pickering, they continue to hold possession of the land, without any government ownership. A conservation easement is a mutual agreement to preserve the land by limiting the use of the land to achieve specific conservation objectives, such as eliminating development or reducing the number of residential housing rights.
A conservation easement does not automatically grant the public access to the property, unless the owner expressly grants those privileges. However, public access to preserved land is often an objective of both the land trust and owners when creating the conservation easement.
Contact Conservation Director, Pam Brown, to learn more.
Now more than ever, outside recreational opportunities are important to our mental and physical health. These French & Pickering properties are open to the public and contain miles of marked hiking trails and scenic views:
The Templin Woods Preserve (formerly known as the Great Marsh Preserve) in East Nantmeal Township consists of more than 550 acres of woodland wildlife habitat. This valuable natural space houses many species of birds and mammals and is an important source of clean water for the Great Marsh ecosystem.
The Thomas P. Bentley Nature Preserve in East Nantmeal and Warwick townships is a 108-acre site that includes the ruins of the Warwick Iron Furnace and the Exceptional Value south branch of the French Creek. This wonderful Nature Preserve boasts more than 2 miles of trails that include a heart-pumping climb to the top of the meadow where you are rewarded with the breathtaking view of the French & Pickering preserved Warwick Valley.
In addition to the beautiful scenery, natural areas and trails, the TPBNP is home to the 18th century Warwick Furnace.
Connecting to Nature
“There is no Wifi in the Forest, but I promise you will find a better connection” – Ralph Smart
Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life and more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. Nature can generate a multitude of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, creativity and can facilitate concentration.
Join us for a free monthly virtual and/or in-person educational event. Topics range from bird walks to exploration of northern Chester County’s rich history. Click below to explore our upcoming events and educational opportunities. We hope to see you soon!
Hopewell Big Woods
The Hopewell Big Woods Partnership, led by French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, is a group of over 30 government agencies, private non-profits and municipal entities. The Partnership is seeking to conserve at least 4,000 acres of old growth, 15,000 acres of unbroken forest and the watersheds supported by this forest.
As the last large, unbroken forest left in southeastern Pennsylvania,
Hopewell Big Woods is one of the most important natural areas in the region. Hopewell Big Woods is an exceptional resource with hundreds of plant and bird species, pristine forest, unique wetlands and clean streams, providing open space, drinking water, and unique scenic, cultural and natural resources.
This conservation area encircles French Creek State Park and the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site and is greatly valued as an asset for public recreation. An expanse of over 73,000 acres, or 110 square miles, Hopewell Big Woods is a rarity in our landscape.
Become a Member
Your support will make a better tomorrow.
In addition to our conservation work, your support will help to fund free, monthly environmental education programming for the public which include Zoom lectures with experts, hikes with wildlife professionals and quarterly children’s programs.
As the only conservation organization focusing solely on beautiful northern Chester County, your gift to French & Pickering will directly support the conservation of natural resources and green spaces in our region. A gift today protects habitat and keeps the community healthier, happier and preserved in perpetuity.
Deb Kuhn, Watercolor Artist
Deb Kuhn creates the beautiful paintings that are the face of French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, including the cover of Land Matters and our website.