Environmental Currents
Summer 2019
Director's Report
Dear fellow conservationists,

This year marks a landmark achievement of 30 years of open space preservation in Chester County. On behalf of the trustees and staff of the Brandywine Conservancy, we are so excited to share in this celebration. Long ago Chester County citizens prioritized funding for the preservation of open space—thanks to a voter referendum in 1989—which allowed for the creation of one of the most comprehensive open space preservation programs in the country. Over the years, the Brandywine Conservancy and other non-profit conservation organizations and municipalities have collaborated with the County in its efforts—as a result, nearly 29 percent of land in Chester County is now permanently preserved for current and future generations to enjoy.

In commemoration of 30 years of open space success, we asked Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone to share a few top accomplishments and where the program is headed in the future. Click here to read more.
Chester County also partnered with the major land conservancies active in Chester County, as well as the Chester County Economic Development Council and Chester County Association of Township Officials, to produce an updated Return on Environment report that estimates the economic impact of the County's robust open space preservation initiative. Protected open spaces provide substantial economic, environmental and health benefits to surrounding communities, but these benefits are often overlooked or undervalued in policy debates and investment decisions. Click here to view the Return on Environment report.
We extend our sincere gratitude to the Chester County Commissioners for their long and esteemed history of supporting natural resource conservation, watershed protection, outdoor recreation and farmland preservation in Chester County and we look forward to our continued partnership.


Ellen M. Ferretti
Director, Brandywine Conservancy
Saving the Mode House – Modena, PA
T he Borough of Modena is a great municipal partner in the Brandywine Creek Greenway. The Borough has been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save a prominent historic house and property that helped shape early Modena. Built in the late 18th century, the Mode House—now more commonly referred to as the McCain Property—once held a distinguished position in Modena’s economic and historic landscape. Left abandoned for many years, the property shows considerable signs of age and deterioration, but with the possible purchase of the property comes the hope that the house can be restored and once again hold a distinguished position in Modena and its future.
Adapting to Beavers at Waterloo Mills Preserve
North America’s largest rodent, the beaver ( Castor canadensis ), is supremely well adapted to life in and around fresh water. In December 2018, Conservancy staff discovered a new beaver dam and lodge at Waterloo Mills Preserve that had re-routed a stream and inundated the Preserve’s wet meadows. While some of the adverse impacts included the destruction of healthy trees, there have also been some surprising benefits as a result of the Preserve's newest inhabitants. 
Upcoming Calendar of Events
Wednesday, August 14

Saturday, September 14

Wednesday, September 18

Saturday, September 28
Register Now for Bike the Brandywine 2019!
Registration is now open for Bike the Brandywine on September 28!
Riders can choose from distances of 25-, 45-, 62- (Metric Century) and 80-mile routes through the majestic Brandywine Creek Greenway and surrounding area. The ride begins and ends along the banks of the Brandywine River and participation supports the open space and clean water initiatives of the Brandywine Conservancy.
DRWI Transportation Roundtable 
Regional transportation groups and the Brandywine-Christina Watershed Partners met for a lively roundtable discussion regarding roads and stormwater runoff. Key stakeholders, including state and local government, highway departments and regional transportation groups within the watershed, joined the conversation to address their shared concerns with road runoff and regulations and how the groups could work together in the future to better protect streams and creeks within the watershed. 
S.A.V.E. Community Event with Tom Murphy
This past April, members from Safety, Agriculture, Villages & Environment (S.A.V.E.) and the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance (DVSGA) presented “Intentionality: Communities Succeeding in the 21st Century,” featuring keynote speaker Tom Murphy at the Mendenhall Inn. Murphy is a former three-term mayor of Pittsburgh, eight-term member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature and current senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute.
Invasive Species Spotlight: Common Reed
Many invasive species become such a large and familiar part of our landscape that we stop noticing them. Common Reed ( Phragmites australis ) may be one of these plants. It lines highways, fills drainage basins, dominates floodplains and in some places covers thousands of acres. It is so common that even though it often grows to well over 10 feet, we barely notice it. In the northeastern United States and Canada this one plant has cost millions to state and local economies.
From Conservancy Intern to Full-time Staffer
Earlier this spring, Sarah Sharp joined the Conservancy staff as a new Assistant Planner in its Municipal Assistance Program. Sarah previously worked at the Conservancy as a planning intern for three months prior to accepting her full-time position. She is currently finishing up course work at West Chester University for a dual Master of Science in Geography/Urban and Regional Planning. We sat down with Sarah to discuss her new role, what it’s been like transitioning from student intern to full-time planner, and what she is most looking forward to as she begins her career at the Conservancy. 
Featured Links: eBird and iNaturalist
Explore and share your observations from the natural world using eBird and iNaturalist. Both sites enable users to become citizen scientists as they record observations such as bird sightings, reports on native and invasive species and habitats, and more.

Click here to explore eBird.org

Click here to explore iNaturalist.org
Stewardship Series Survey for New Topics
The Brandywine Conservancy's Stewardship Series is a twice-a-year program that informs the public about the natural world and helps all of us—landowners, property managers and community residents—become better stewards of land. In planning for upcoming topics, please share with us your ideas for future Stewardship Series programs.
Penguin Court in the Classroom
Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a national program that came to Pennsylvania in 2006. Since then, the program has ballooned in popularity across the Commonwealth. TIC allows students to raise brook trout—Pennsylvania’s state fish—throughout the school year in a classroom aquarium. Melissa Reckner, program manager of the Brandywine Conservancy’s Penguin Court, has been involved with TIC since 2006. She currently works with nine schools, providing technical assistance and coordinating their Release Day activities. 
Follow the Conservancy
Brandywine Conservancy
Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA, 19317