The Trust has been studying the populations of this small migratory owl for the past 10 years as part of Project Owlnet, a continent-wide effort to study the movements of saw-whet owls. Education Programs Manager, Blake Goll, will explore what we’ve learned over the years through our owl banding program, teach about the life history of this secretive species, and discuss its conservation.
Are you a friend of the Trust but have never donated or have you supported the Trust in the past but never the Annual Fund?
This fall you have the opportunity to make a big impact with your first gift to the Annual Fund! We are pleased to announce that each new donor’s gift will be matched dollar for dollar by the Tally Foundation up to $30,000.
Your donation of any amount will go directly to supporting the Trust’s holistic approach to conservation. Every day our Land Protection, Stewardship, Community Farm, Bird Conservation, and Watershed Protection staff work tirelessly to conserve our land, inspire our community, and restore our local habitats for people and wildlife.
The Trust is grateful for our supporters of the Annual Fund, which provides much needed funding to support our important work.
Join our community of supporters with a gift by November 30!
The Tally Foundation, named after a family’s beloved golden retriever Tally Ho.
Meet Shelly Eshleman, our newest Motus team member and bird conservation biologist as she describes her path to working for Willistown Conservation Trust. She will give an inside view of what life as a Motus technician is like and describe the Bobolink project she’s been working on with Zoe Warner.
Recent Article by Zoë Warner | Article published by Brandywine Conservancy
PRESERVED LANDS IN KING RANCH AREA OF CHESTER COUNTY OFFER HOPE AND SUMMER HOME FOR BOBOLINKS
By: Zoë Warner, Ph.D., Avian Research
A week-long event Art on the Trails: Preserve Gallery Walk with a pop-up picnic dinner on the lawn at the Rushton Conservation Center provided by our friends at Taste of Puebla. Wander the trails of Rushton Woods Preserve, enjoy the original Plein Air artwork by LandArt Events artists, and stay for a picnic with your group!
Pop-Up Picnic with Taste of Puebla
Friday, October 16th
from 4:30 – 7:00 pm
Rushton Conservation Center
Join us for a pop-up picnic dinner provided by our friends at Taste of Puebla held outside on the lawn at the Rushton Conservation Center. This event is BYOB, blanket, and chairs. There will be plenty of space to maintain social distancing while enjoying a menu featuring ingredients from Rushton Farm and other local Chester County farms. Guests are welcome to picnic on site or take their dinner to-go.
Ticket sales end at 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Art on the Trails:
Preserve Gallery Walk
October 17th – 24th from 8 am – 6 pm
Kirkwood, Ashbridge, Rushton Woods Preserve and Farm
Explore the Trust’s preserves through a Plein Air artist’s eye during our week-long, self-guided gallery walk. Trail markers will display the artist’s artwork along the trails of Kirkwood Preserve, Ashbridge Preserve, and Rushton Woods Preserve for you to enjoy from the same location the artist set up their easel. The preserves are open from dawn to dusk for you to wander the trails and collect a canvas for your own home. Visit landartevents.com to purchase the original artwork. LandArt Events donates 15% of all sales to WIllistown Conservation Trust.
The final conservation chapter to the 15-acre Stonehedge Farm at Plumsock and Goshen Roads in Willistown has finally concluded. The land is now protected from additional development forever.
Many a trail rider or foxhunter is familiar with the fieldstone jump at the southeast corner of Plumsock and Goshen Roads that marks the equestrian entrance to Stonehedge Farm. It is a prominent landmark leading to the well-traveled trail that runs along the western border of the farm, parallel to Plumsock Road. Surrounded on all sides by conserved land, Stonehedge has long been considered a critical unprotected property in the Trust’s focal area.
Much remains unchanged since the late 1700s in this particular corner of Willistown. Part of the original Okehocking Indian Land Grant, a 500-acre parcel of land given by William Penn to the Okehocking tribe, the first roads in Willistown were primarily Indian trails. As more people began to expand into Willistown, new cart paths were needed, and Goshen Road was laid out as the main thoroughfare between Philadelphia and Willistown. In 1929 Radnor Hunt moved to Willistown, bringing along Philadelphians desiring country estates. Stonehedge Farm and the surrounding protected land has long been an important route during fox hunts.
Nearly 100 years later, Stonehedge Farm was put on the real estate market, and slated for subdivision and redevelopment. Thanks to the Trust’s partner conservation organization non-profit Delchester Group and its group of dedicated investors, the farm was purchased and marketed specifically to conservation buyers. The Stonehedge acquisition is the 16th community conservation partnership resulting in nearly 2,000 acres of land protected in this way.
In August 2020 new owners purchased the property and donated an official conservation easement to Willistown Conservation Trust, forever protecting these 15 acres from future development. It was a love of open space and animals that prompted the family to consider moving outside of Philadelphia and into Willistown. When they found S Farm, it checked off many items on their wish list – access to nature, proximity to the city, a quiet country road, a body of water, and most importantly, surrounded by conserved open space. The family is very involved in farm animal rescue, and plan to build a small barn open to rescue “guests” as they wait for permanent homes. Further, the property’s proximity to Rushton Woods Preserve is a perfect place for their son, an avid birder, to spend his time.
The farm enjoys diverse habitat types with open meadow, undisturbed hedgerows, a patch of woodland, a small freshwater pond, and a small tributary to the Ridley Creek known as Hibberd Run. These natural resources will be forever protected, conserving critical habitat for our native wild and plant life. Additionally, the 1.5 miles of equestrian trails, connecting to a larger network of neighboring trails, will continue to allow access to both recreational riders as well as foxhunters. Thank you to the generosity of Stonehedge Farm’s new owners, and welcome to our community of conservationists!