Natural Lands has preserved the 113-acre Castle Rock Farm that straddles West Bradford and Newlin Townships in Chester County. The farm is adjacent to several other already-protected properties, adding to a growing greenway along West Branch Brandywine Creek.
Using a land protection tool known as a conservation easement, Natural Lands has ensured the property is never developed, preserving the pastoral, scenic views of the Brandywine Creek valley.
Two years ago, the Giangiulio family placed a conservation easement on a 54-acre section of the farm. This second easement adds 113 acres to the amount under permanent protection at Castle Rock.
“We are thrilled to have our property preserved forever through Natural Lands,” said Peter and Barbara Giangiulio. “This is a farm with a great deal of history. It will be here for all to enjoy. Our family has owned it for more 60 years and to know that it is now preserved is a great comfort.”
They added, “Natural Lands made the process extremely easy.”
Chester County’s protected open spaces, like Castle Rock Farm, offer far more than pretty views. A study released by the Chester County Planning Commission documented the myriad ways in which preserved green spaces are economic powerhouses that generate significant value for the region. Open space contributes to the local economy, increases property values, and saves money on everything from health care to recreation. It improves the air we breathe and the water we drink, reducing the cost of providing these basic services.
Broad Run Creek, designated by the Department of Environmental Protection as a “High Quality” waterway, meanders along Castle Rock Farm’s northeastern boundary for about 1,400 feet. The land along the creek is known as a riparian buffer and is particularly important to protect as it slows and filters stormwater and reduces flooding during severe weather events.
“News about the implications of our warming climate seems to come almost daily these days,” said Natural Lands President Oliver Bass. “Undeveloped open spaces like Castle Rock Farm—along with the 125,000 acres Natural Lands has preserved over the decades—play an essential role in climate mitigation. This land not only absorbs greenhouse gases, it also prevents significant greenhouse gas emissions that would result had the land been developed.” He added, “We applaud the Giangiulio family for choosing to preserve their farm, a decision that benefits us all—both today and for generations to come.”
West Bradford Township’s municipal open space funds provided $1,670,858 toward this conservation project. Castle Rock Farm has been a priority for preservation for West Bradford Township as it represents one of the last large agricultural properties in the municipality.
“West Bradford thanks the Giangiulio family for choosing to preserve their iconic farm,” said Township Manager Justin Yaich. “By working together with property owners, organizations such as Natural Lands, Chester County, and other community partners, we are ensuring that future generations can enjoy the beauty of our region. We extend our sincere gratitude to the residents of West Bradford Township. Without their support, projects like this would not be possible.”
An additional $1 million came from the Conservancy Grant Program – Commissioners of Chester County.
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline said, “The beauty of our Preservation Partnership Program is that it forever saves land that is loved for natural, recreational, agricultural, historical, and cultural benefits. Castle Rock Farm shines as a perfect example of this, and we thank the Giangiulio family, West Bradford Township, Natural Lands, and our own County Parks + Preservation staff for working together to complete this project. Chester County is much better for it.”
Newlin Township and Marshallton Conservation Trust also contributed financial support to this project.