The Meadowlark Newsletter | January 2022
Welcoming a New Year
Winter at Rushton Woods Preserve and Rushton Farm. Photo by Jennifer Mathes
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however that path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
~ E.O. Wilson
Huge Success - We Reached our Annual Fund Goal!
Thank you to everyone who donated to our Annual Fund!
Thanks to you, we finished this year on a high note, and we are more than prepared to embark on our Pathway to 2022.
Canopy of Conservation | Upcoming Events & Activities
Winter Stewardship Volunteer Days
Thursdays | 9 am - 12 pm
As the year grows colder, the ground hardens, and the weather turns, our stewardship work grows more sporadic. Instead of holding stewardship volunteer days every Thursday, we will hold them as needed. If you are interested in arranging a volunteer day with us, please contact Preserve Manager Mike Cranney, and we will do our best to accommodate you and anyone else wishing to join!
Winter Bird Walk
Saturday, January 22 | 9 am - 10 am
Experience winter bird life by taking a leisurely walk with the Trust's local birding experts. Bring your binoculars and learn birding techniques while enjoying beautiful Kirkwood Preserve (855 Grubbs Mill Road). No prior experience is necessary, and all skill levels and ages are welcome.
Virtual Beaver Talk
Wednesday, February 2 | 7 pm - 8 pm
Beavers (Castor canadensis) are one of the most important animals in North America when it comes to water quality, but did you know that these amazing animals live in our very own watersheds? Join Watershed Protection Program Director Lauren McGrath to learn more about the history, biology and benefits of having beaver living in local streams.
Introduction to the Darby Creek Headwaters Community Monitoring Program
Thursday, February 3 | 6:30 pm
Easttown Library and Zoom
Watershed Protection Program Director Lauren McGrath will speak about basic watershed biology and ecology, the water quality monitoring program, and preliminary water quality results in the watershed that is predominant in Easttown Township. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking below.
SAVE THE DATE | Field-to-Feast Dinner
Thursday, February 10 | 6 - 8:30 pm
Rushton Conservation Center
Our Field-to-Feast Dinners are the perfect way to enjoy an intimate evening with friends, whether you're bringing your own group or meeting new faces! 12-14 guests gather around the Rushton Conservation Center's bartop, where they can enjoy conversation while learning from one of our incredible partner chefs!
The Understory | Program News & Updates
By Anna Willig
In the middle of the 2021 spring tree planting, the Watershed Protection Team had quite the surprise when we spotted evidence of beaver activity in Ashbridge Preserve. A single tree was knocked down along Ridley Creek, with distinctive teeth marks that indicated a beaver had found itself a tasty meal. In October, the first lodge was located, and it was clear that the beavers had settled in the center of 1,000 freshly planted trees. But more than concern was a feeling of validation; the hard work of every staff member, volunteer and student has resulted in the creation of suitable habitat for one of nature’s most effective ecosystem engineers!
Read more about our new Ashbridge residents and the role beavers play in the ecosystem by clicking the button below.
Please Note: The Watershed Protection Team is excited to welcome our newest team member and encourages all visitors to keep an eye out for beavers at Ashbridge but please do not go searching for them. The health of our waterways will benefit from the presence of Castor canidensis, so please be respectful of their space.
Notes from the Field | Land News & Updates
Photo by Jennifer Mathes
THE TRUST RECEIVES $525K FROM DCNR FOR LAND CONSERVATION
State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, has announced the Willistown Conservation Trust is set to receive two grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to further land conservation efforts in Chester County.
The grants awarded are:
“Willistown Conservation Trust’s phenomenal work in protecting and preserving more than 7,500 acres has given people of all ages the chance to enjoy nature,” said Howard. “I’m excited to see the trust utilize these grants to not only grow protected lands, but to make them more accessible for all.”
Howard said the funds are part of the Pennsylvania DCNR grant program, which pulls from multiple state and federal funding sources to award grants.
The Roots | Words from Staff
MEET ALY STARR, OUR NEWEST RUSHTON CONSERVATION CENTER EVENT STAFFER
Aly joined the Trust in late 2021, and you’ll find her assisting with a variety of events at the Rushton Conservation Center. She divides her time between the Rushton Conservation Center and the Chester County Hospital where she works as a nurse and recently won the prestigious Daisy Award for her top-notch care of a Covid patient. Needless to say, hospitality is one of Aly’s specialties! Additionally, Aly spends much of her free time with her fiancé, designing, renovating, and decorating their house: a black Victorian twin built in 1886 and found in the Downingtown borough (and on Instagram @blackbrickonthecorner). Originally, from “the middle of nowhere” — better known as Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania — Aly draws design inspiration from her rural roots and loves foraging and drying flowers to decorate her home and the RCC!
Our Contact Information
OUR MISSION is to preserve and manage the open land, rural character, scenic, recreational, historic, agricultural and natural resources of the Willistown area and nearby communities, and to share these unique resources with people of all ages and backgrounds to inspire, educate and develop a lifelong commitment to the land and the natural world.