The Chester County Commissioners have announced an important agricultural land preservation milestone.
Since October 1990, when the first farm successfully went into the program, Chester County’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board (ALPB) has approved the preservation of 40,000 acres on more than 500 farms. This farmland preservation represents a significant contribution to Chester County’s overall open space preservation program, which now accounts for 28 percent of the county.
With even more farmland preservation as its aim, the ALPB is now accepting applications for two competitive programs funded by the Commissioners: The Commonwealth/County Program and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program. Both programs offer funds to qualifying Chester County farm owners who are interested in preserving their farms. The county pays farm owners for their development rights in exchange for a permanent agricultural conservation easement on their land.
“Many of the farms that have sought preservation in Chester County are ‘century farms,’ which have been in the same family for at least 100 years,” said Michelle Kichline, Chair of the Chester County Commissioners. “In this instance, the preservation funds can help transition the farm to the next generation, in addition to preserving the open fields and rolling hills.”
The application deadline for both the Commonwealth/County Program and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program is Aug. 1. For more information, including applications and program guidelines, click here or call Geoff Shellington at 610-344-6504.