Our Role

After years of negotiation, the Fund brought all of the partners to the table and orchestrated the sale of the land—known as the Taylors Bridge Roberts Farm.  After purchasing it, the Fund donated the land to the Delaware Wild Lands, a nonprofit conservation organization, for permanent protection and management.  The purchase was made possible with a grant from Mt. Cuba Center, a botanical garden with a commitment to native plants and protecting the environments that sustain them. The partnership also included the Roberts family, who have owned the property, for the last 50 years.

For the last five decades, the farm was managed as a working farm with special care taken for the tidal wetlands, marshes and forests that provide ideal habitat for a variety of local species. Former land owner, Chris Roberts, had this to say about the protection of his family’s land legacy, “Protection of these 1,250 acres and my family legacy is a remarkable accomplishment for my family and for the future of Delaware. For decades, I’ve worked to improve and restore the diversity and quality of wildlife habitat on these lands. I planted dozens of cedar trees along Staves Landing Road that define and protect the interior of the property, refined management of key resources of the property including the 100-acre Big Pond Refuge and kept invasive species and phragmites at bay. I am pleased to know that this property will be forever protected and managed for these purposes.” 

Why This Project Matters

Until its recent sale and donation, this land was actually one of the largest remaining unprotected tracts in the Delaware Bay coastal zone.  The site is bordered by three different waterways: Blackbird Creek, Appoquinimink River and Hangman's Run. The protection of the Farm brings the total acreage owned by Delaware Wild Lands to 4,500 acres; when connected to the neighboring 5,500-acre Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area, the protection of the Farm contributes to health and vitality of the coastal zone with this 10,000-acre block of contiguous and protected wildlife habitat. The species that depend on this land for their habitat include bald eagle, osprey, fox, muskrat, otter and shorebirds.

“The Roberts Farm is a key linchpin for wildlife habitat and water quality protection in the upper part of the Delaware Bay because of its large size, important location and careful management. This property has been a priority for protection for over twenty years, and now thanks to the incredible support of Mt Cuba Center, we were able to preserve it forever. Our partnership with Mt. Cuba Center and Delaware Wild Lands brought together the key elements to make sure that the legacy of this family farm will live on.”

—Blaine Phillips, Senior Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for The Conservation Fund

Learn More

High resolution photographs and additional background materials are available for download at www.dewildlands.org

The Mt. Cuba Center: Protecting Land In Delaware Under The Radar