May 1, 2017

Historic Beaver Valley Property Purchased For Conservation in Pennsylvania

CHADDS FORD, Pa.—The Conservation Fund, in partnership with Mt. Cuba Center and the Brandywine Conservancy, announced today its purchase of the historic Beaver Valley property in Concord Township, Pennsylvania. Thanks to generous support from Mt. Cuba Center as well as other private contributions, the national environmental organization acquired the 270-acre property from the Woodlawn Trustees for permanent conservation as open space.

“After years of negotiations, The Conservation Fund is elated to finalize the purchase and protection of Beaver Valley, ensuring that everyone can continue to enjoy the beautiful trails, scenic pastures, and wildlife of this vitally important historic property, said Blaine T. Phillips, Jr., Senior Vice President of The Conservation Fund. “Once again, the steadfast support of Mt. Cuba Center has been crucial in preserving the beautiful landscapes here and across the Brandywine Valley.” 

“Mt. Cuba Center is thrilled that The Conservation Fund brought this deal to fruition, and we are so happy to be able to participate as the major funder of the project,” said Ann C. Rose, President of Mt. Cuba Center. “The beauty of this land speaks for itself as to why it is critical to preserve. The thought of this property being lost to future generations with the addition of hundreds of houses was simply unthinkable.”

“It was an honor for the Brandywine Conservancy to help the Mt. Cuba Center, The Conservation Fund, and the various grassroots organizations raise the final dollars necessary to permanently protect this dramatically beautiful and ecologically distinguished property from development,” said Morris Stroud, Chairmen of the Board of Trustees for the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art“I believe posterity will look back in gratitude to the hard work and generosity of all involved.”

Map BeaverValley TheConservationFund

Located adjacent to First State National Historical Park, the Beaver Valley site is a favorite place for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and runners throughout the region. The property will remain open to the public. The Conservation Fund will work with the National Park Service to explore opportunities to add the Beaver Valley site to the National Historical Park in the future.

“First State National Historical Park applauds the vision, dedication, and collective ability demonstrated by the world-class conservation community surrounding the park, specifically The Conservation Fund, Mt. Cuba Center, The Brandywine Conservancy, and the Brandywine community, at large,” said Ethan McKinley, First State National Historical Park Superintendent. “Together, they have preserved a threatened culturally and naturally significant site that shares a long border with the current Beaver Valley Unit.”

The movement to save Beaver Valley began as a true grassroots effort, with tireless support from the Beaver Valley Conservancy, Beaver Valley Preservation Alliance and Save the Valley, as well as from hundreds of individuals in the surrounding communities. These groups worked to plan countless fundraisers and spread the word to keep this issue at the forefront of the public’s consciousness. The Brandywine Conservancy provided fundraising support to secure the additional funding needed to complete the conservation acquisition. More than 2,000 individuals contributed gifts to meet the fundraising goal.   

In addition to public recreational access and landscape preservation, Beaver Valley’s conservation safeguards old-growth forests with 200- to 300-year-old trees, a variety of rare plants and animals, as well as multiple streams that flow into the Brandywine River, supporting water quality for the City of Wilmington and the surrounding communities. 

Background on property
Originally acquired by William Penn from the Duke of York in 1682, the property lies near the banks of the Brandywine River in Concord Township, Pennsylvania. Nearby, in 1777, General George Washington’s troops defended against British forces in the largest battle of the American Revolution. Since then, the Brandywine Valley’s natural beauty has inspired generations of artists, including acclaimed painter Andrew Wyeth. 

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 7.8 million acres of land, including more than 120,000 acres of beloved natural lands across Pennsylvania and Delaware. 

About Mt. Cuba Center
Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden that inspires an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the environments that sustain them. Over the past 70 years the gardens at Mt. Cuba Center have evolved, transforming fallow cornfields into thriving, ecologically-functional landscapes, thanks to the initiative of Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. In 2013, Mt. Cuba Center made an unprecedented private contribution that enabled The Conservation Fund to purchase over 1,100 acres to help establish First State National Historical Park. 

About the Brandywine Conservancy
The Brandywine Conservancy protects water, preserves land, and engages communities, using a multi-faceted approach to conservation. The conservancy works with private landowners who wish to see their lands protected forever, and provides innovative community planning services to municipalities and other governmental agencies. The conservancy currently holds 469 conservation and agricultural easements and has facilitated the permanent preservation of more than 62,000 acres of land.

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 |
Blaine T. Phillips | The Conservation Fund | 302-656-1103 | 
Sara Stevenson | Mt. Cuba Center | 302-239-8883 | 
Andrew Stewart | Brandywine Conservancy | 610-388-8331 |