A CLOSER LOOK
The Rushton Nature Keepers Conservation Strategy
While each of the four themes of Rushton Nature Keepers is an important part of what we do here at Willistown Conservation Trust, the connection to land stewardship and land protection is the universal thread. Locally conserved land allows us to make a broad conservation impact.
1. Birds and wildlife are the global heartbeat. Birds connect people across continents with their awe-inspiring migrations and provide the charismatic face that compels people to protect habitat. Our Rushton Woods Preserve is a hub of bird conservation, boasting the region’s premier bird banding station that attracts leaders in ornithology and inspires visitors to care about their avian neighbors.
2. Sustainable farming is the way of the future and quite possibly the answer to feeding the world’s growing population. By taking care of soils first and minimizing overall impact on the land, organic methods have proven to be just as productive if not more than conventional methods. Rushton Farm is a leading model of farming methods that create and enhance habitat for native wildlife and pollinators while growing food for the community.
3. Watersheds must be safeguarded through land conservation and sound environmental practices. Our partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University provides us with the tools we need to monitor the three watersheds we protect: the Ridley, Crum, and Darby Creeks. We study all aspects of stream health including underwater insects that serve as indicators of water quality.
4. Healthy Habitat begins in your own backyard. The Trust has implemented a number of small-scale habitat restoration projects over the years, which serve as demos for landowners interested in supporting healthy habitat. For example, native wildflower meadows have been established to support native pollinators, stream sides have been planted with native trees for erosion control, and native shrub habitats have been planted to support migratory birds.