With the signing of an agricultural conservation easement, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has ensured that 145 acres of its New Bolton Center Campus will be protected from development and will continue the area's agricultural tradition.

The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County, a non-profit charitable organization based in Kennett Square, will administer the easement during its 25-year term.

"This was a wonderful opportunity for Penn Vet to continue the positive relationship we have with the Chester County community," said Corinne Sweeney, associate dean for New Bolton Center. "The easement will help sustain the area's long and proud agricultural heritage. We're so pleased to be a part of it."

The parcel of land placed under the easement -- comprising nearly a quarter of the New Bolton Center's 687-acre campus -- is currently used as cropland and pastureland. The easement ensures that these traditional uses will endure, while restricting non-agricultural development.

Since 1952, Penn Vet's New Bolton Center Campus has offered veterinary services for large animals such as horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. The campus is also home to a working dairy, a farrier and a traveling field service to offer veterinary care for individuals and farms in the nearby area.

"The New Bolton Center campus has been a staple of this community for generations," said Gwen Lacy, executive director of The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County.  "We are thrilled to hold this easement on 145 acres of prime pasture and croplands.  It is reassuring to recognize that, through this easement, we all share a common vision of maintaining the rural integrity and the beauty of the landscape for years to come."  

With this new agreement at New Bolton, the Conservancy expands the area under its protection to nearly 700 acres.

Penn Vet will maintain ownership of the land, which is located along Route 926 east of the main portion of the New Bolton Center campus, while The Land Conservancy will hold the easement and act as a guardian of its provisions.