Natural Lands announced on April 8, 2020 the successful preservation of the 54-acre Castle Rock Farm that straddles Pocopson and West Bradford Townships, Chester County. The farm is adjacent to several other already-protected properties, adding to a growing greenway along West Branch Brandywine Creek.
“My family has owned this property since 1957. We’ve fought to keep it going during hard times.” said landowner Peter Giangiulio. “This farm, this land … it’s too meaningful not to save it … to ensure it will always be preserved even after my sister and I are gone.”
The conservation easement ensures the property is never developed, preserving the pastoral, scenic views along West Branch Brandywine Creek. In addition, the deal means Castle Rock Farm will continue to provide vital ecological benefit by recharging groundwater supplies, slowing and filtering stormwater, and reducing flooding during storms.
“This property was attractive as a development site but we believe the easement was a better option for everyone,” added Peter Giangiulio. “I get to keep seeing these views—and my neighbors get to, too. Natural Lands was fabulous to work with.”
Chester County’s protected open spaces, like Castle Rock Farm, offer far more than pretty views. A study released last year 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.
“Our organization believes in the power of nature’s open spaces to improve our health, calm our nerves, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Natural Lands President Oliver Bass. “Natural Lands has been working to save our region’s land—forests, fields, and farms like Castle Rock Farm—since 1953. With the help of many partners along the way, our preservation efforts have resulted in more than 125,000 acres of permanently protected open space. Even during these challenging times, our work continues.”
Natural Lands received funding to underwrite this project from Chester County’s Preservation Partnership Program; Mars Foundation; the Marshallton Conservation Trust; the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program; West Bradford Township, and the Gianguilio family.
“West Bradford Township is pleased to be a partner in this important piece of preservation,” said West Bradford Township Manager Justin Yaich. “Since passing the open space referendum in 2017, West Bradford has worked diligently—and will continue to do so—with partners like Natural Lands to preserve as much of our valuable open space as possible.”
The Marshallton Conservation Trust is delighted to have helped fund the conservation of part of this iconic landmark, which includes the birthplace of Humphry Marshall, the namesake of our village,” said Bob Portnoy, president of the Marshallton Conservation Trust.