Natural Lands has purchased an 82-acre wooded property adjacent to its Crow’s Nest Preserve in Warwick Township. The addition brings the preserve’s size to 454 acres and provides a scenic buffer for a section of the Horse-Shoe Trail, which traverses the property.
The recently acquired parcel was known as the Warwick Woods Campground. The former owners contacted Natural Lands when they decided it was time to sell the property, hoping it could be preserved as open space. Natural Lands acquired funding for the purchase through grants from Chester County, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Warwick Township, and the Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation.
The campground had more than 200 structures, including an office, in-ground swimming pool, storage buildings, clubhouse, sewer facilities, and a pavilion. Also, an access drive used by the neighboring natural stone quarrier Polycor ran through the property with no formal, recorded right-of-way easement. Natural Lands and Polycor agreed to a ”land swap” as the quarry acquired 15 acres that included the access drive and, in exchange, Natural Lands took ownership of 15 wooded acres in another corner of the property. Additionally, Polycor very generously removed all the man-made structures.
“By working with natural resources, we understand the importance of preserving the environment,” said Eric Mayer, director of operations for Polycor Quarries. “At Polycor, we’re looking to minimize our environmental impact, and we feel that our collaboration with an organization like Natural Lands is in the best interest of the Warwick Township population in Chester County.”
“Adding these 82 acres to our Crow’s Nest Preserve means they will be available to the public, free of charge, to explore and enjoy,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “Contrary to the old adage ‘let nature take its course,’ natural areas need help to become — and remain — places where people, plants, and wildlife can thrive. We will care for this land using the skills and knowledge our stewardship team has gleaned over many decades.”