A Boon for Chester County, Open Space Is By No Accident
Chester County’s range of picturesque hills and vast farmlands is by no accident, writes Ukee Washington for CBS Philly.
Residents voted in 1989 to raise $50 million to preserve the county’s green space and stop the expanding urban sprawl before it changed the place they loved beyond recognition.
Today, close to 30 percent of land in Chester County is in some way protected as open space. Some of it, including ChesLen Preserve in Newlin Township, is owned by the nonprofit Natural Lands.
“Natural Lands is one of the region’s oldest and largest land conservation organizations,” said Kirsten Werner, the nonprofit’s director of communications. “Our mission is essentially to save and care for open space.”
Chester County is also known for its farmland. It has actively worked with more than 500 farms to protect more than 40,000 acres of farmland from development.
Farm preservation has been about more than just preserving beautiful views, said Judy Thomas, the county’s Preservation Programs Coordinator.
“Agriculture is a business,” she said.
Thomas said the open space has been a boon for the area’s health, property values, and environment.
“The rolling hills of Chester County are pretty remarkable,” said Werner.
Read more about Chester County’s open space at CBS Philly here.
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