The Brandywine Conservancy has received a $10,000 grant from DuPont Clear into the Future to preserve and improve the water quality of the Brandywine at its source in Honey Brook Township. 
The funds will help the conservancy continue its work to protect farms in the headwaters of the Brandywine and help farmers and other landowners implement best management practices (BMPs) on their properties. The Brandywine Watershed is the source of drinking water for more than 500,000 people in communities in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

"By focusing at the top of the watershed at its source in Honey Brook Township, the conservancy can help reduce sediments and pollutants in the water for all users living downstream," said Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the conservancy's Environmental Management Center. "These funds will enable us to continue to help farmers stabilize stream banks, install stream bank fencing to prevent cattle from entering the water, and eliminate some sources of erosion and pollutants to reduce their impacts on water quality."

Helping farmers with BMPs is one element of the conservancy's Source Water Protection Program for the Brandywine.Conservancy staff will assist farmers in placing agricultural easements on their farms to permanently protect the farms. The conservancy has also embarked on a five-year initiative to plant 25,000 trees by the end of 2014. In its fourth year, the conservancy is on pace to exceed that goal, with 6,000 trees planted in 2013 alone.

In a bi-state partnership, the conservancy worked with the City of Wilmington on its recent Source Water Protection Plan. This plan was created by city officials who understand that the cost of keeping pollutants out of the Brandywine at its source is dramatically less than the cost of cleaning the water in a treatment plant when it reaches Wilmington.

The Brandywine Conservancy holds more than 440 conservation easements and has protected and facilitated the permanent preservation of more than 58,000 acres in Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, as well as New Castle County in Delaware.

For more information about the conservancy's programs and services, call 610-388-8340 or visit  www.brandywineconservancy.org.