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Chester County Press

Brandywine Conservancy gets grant for proposed conservation and recreation corridor

03/18/2016 11:56AM ● By J. Chambless

The Brandywine Conservancy has been awarded a $490,000 grant from the William Penn Foundation to support its Brandywine Creek Greenway (BCG) regional planning initiative over the next two years. The BCG project, led by the Brandywine Conservancy, connects 25 municipalities in Chester and Delaware counties along both branches of the Brandywine Creek to create a 30-mile conservation and recreation corridor.

With this grant, the Conservancy will advance the planning and design of approximately 30 miles of trails for the BCG and improve access to the Brandywine for recreation. The trails are linked to The Circuit, a planned network of 750 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting people to jobs, communities, waterways and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region.

"Trails and bicycle routes are great ways for people to connect with the natural environment," said Virginia A. Logan, executive director of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. "We are grateful to the William Penn Foundation for their support, and are excited to advance connections to the importance of open space and clean water in all of our lives."

The BCG includes more than 36,000 acres of protected open space, one National Historical Park, one state Scenic Byway, three state parks, two county parks, more than 40 municipal parks, and miles of trails and sidewalks situated throughout the corridor. It ties into a comprehensive network of open space and trails to the north in the Pennsylvania Highlands Greenway and to the south in the Delaware Greenways system.

Key projects that will begin in 2016:

  • Determine locations for recreational trails in Honey Brook and Wallace Townships.

  • Preserve key sections of the historic Brandywine Trail between the Brandywine Creek State Park in Delaware and Route 322 in Pennsylvania;

  • Complete design drawings for the Chadds Ford Hub, including support for bicycle and pedestrian travel, as recommended in the Chadds Ford Village Master Plan;

  • Add Kennett Township as the 25th participating municipality;

  • Add new trails and improve access to the Brandywine Creek in Coatesville, South Coatesville, Modena, Downingtown, and West Chester;

  • Produce an interactive map, a mobile app, and an informational video to promote recreational use of the Greenway and connecting Circuit trails;

  • Prepare a signage and wayfinding master plan for the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway; and

  • Organize a community bike ride to raise awareness of the BCG and support for water quality, open space, and trail planning.

The grant includes funds for Brandywine to provide ongoing technical assistance to BCG municipalities and other partners for priority Greenway initiatives. The William Penn Foundation has supported the Brandywine Creek Greenway initiative since 2010.

The Brandywine Conservancy protects water, preserves land, and engages communities, using a multi-faceted approach to conservation. The Conservancy works with private landowners who wish to see their lands protected forever, and provides innovative community planning services to municipalities and other governmental agencies. The Conservancy currently holds 469 conservation and agricultural easements and has facilitated the permanent preservation of more than 62,000 acres of land.

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