CHADDS FORD — The Brandywine Conservancy awarded $40,000 to support preservation work in seven municipalities.
The granted funds shall go support park, open space and trail projects within the Brandywine Creek Greenway.
“We're proud to be a part of a strong, diverse conservation community in Chester and Delaware counties that works collaboratively to permanently protect open space for the enjoyment of current and future generations,” said Ellen Ferretti, director of the Brandywine Conservancy. “The strong effort to preserve open space provides incalculable benefits to the public including air quality, recreation, wildlife habitat, food security, scenic vistas and clean water.”
The $40,000 shall has been awarded to support conservation efforts in seven communities — East Bradford, Chadds Ford, East Fallowfield, Wallace, Pocopson townships, the Borough of Modena and the Kennett Area Park Authority in Kennett Square — through the Brandywine Creek Greenway’s new Mini-Grant Program, created by the Brandywine Conservancy.
The conservancy established the program thanks to a recent grant from the Pennsylvania DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Program Environmental Stewardship Fund and administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
“With these funds, the Brandywine Conservancy was authorized to grant awards of $2,000 to $10,000, up to a total of $40,000, to projects that support and advance the goals and objectives of the BCG’s Strategic Action Plan,” Ferretti said.
She said the mini-grant program reinforces the work of the strong and collaborative partnerships that have been created through the Brandywine Creek Greenway over the past decade.
The funds are broken down per community as follows:
- Chadds Ford Township’s Brandywine Creek Emergency Locator - Educational Signage Project — $5,000;
- East Bradford Township’s Strode's Barn Restoration Design Project — $5,000;
- East Fallowfield Township’s Outdoor Exercise ‘Park’ and Park Bench Installation Project — $3,600;
- Kennett Area Park Authority’s Project to Convert Former Paved Entrance to Pedestrian Trail — $8,000;
- Borough of Modena’s Mode House Park Project — $9,988;
- Pocopson Township’s Restoration of Locust Grove Schoolhouse — $6,000; and
- Wallace Township’s Burgess Park Rain Garden Restoration Project — $2,400.
“We're excited that these seven projects enhance the public's access to and enjoyment of the natural, cultural, historical, scenic and recreational amenities of the Brandywine Creek Greenway,” Ferretti said. “These smaller, yet critical, projects may otherwise have been overlooked for traditional sources of funding. The Mini-Grant Program provides a unique opportunity to not only address projects like these, but also further advance the goals of the greenway.”
As a regional planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy, the greenway involves 27 municipal partners in Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, and recently expanded to include New Castle County and the City of Wilmington in Delaware, Ferretti said.
“The vision is to create a 40-mile-long conservation and recreation corridor along both branches of the Brandywine that stretches from the Christina River in the City of Wilmington to the Pennsylvania Highlands in Honey Brook Township,” Ferretti stated. “The Brandywine Creek and its network of parks and trails form the western limit of Circuit Trails, a regional trail network of the greater Philadelphia region. The greenway currently boasts over 36,000 acres of protected open space, one National Historical Park, one state Scenic Byway, three major state parks, over forty municipal parks, and 69 miles of trails and sidewalks situated throughout the corridor.”
Nicole Kindbeiter, communications specialist for the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art, said the funds will be spent per municipality in the following ways:
- Working with private landowners, Chadds Ford Township will use their funds to install 12 new signs along the Brandywine Creek to provide educational and safety information and facilitate location efforts for emergency responders.
- With support from the Friends of Strode’s Mill, East Bradford Township will engage and work with a licensed architect — specializing in historic preservation — to prepare formal design plans for the preservation and restoration of the historic Strode’s Barn at the Plum Run Preserve.
- East Fallowfield Township will purchase outdoor fitness equipment and benches for the municipality’s Community Park, following resident feedback from an online survey that will be developed by its Park and Recreation Board.
- Kennett Area Park Authority will transition the existing blacktop of its pedestrian trail entrance to a sustainable pervious surface.
- The Borough of Modena will use their funds to help restore the historic Mode House property and create a small pocket park for passive recreation.
- The Pocopson Township's Historical Committee will complete restoration work on the Locust Grove Schoolhouse historic site.
- Wallace Township will complete a restoration of its existing rain garden at the entrance to Burgess Park to ensure that it can thrive and serve as an example of sustainable water quality practices to park visitors.
“Given the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, the conservancy is very pleased to be able to steward these public funds and channel them into projects with a strong public benefit,” Ferretti said. “Given the unprecedented increase in public usership of open space and parks, the improvements being funded by this project will be well used and enjoyed for many years to come.”