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Chester County Press

Mt. Cuba gifts Kennett Township $1.3 million for 123-acre open space acquisition

10/09/2018 02:59PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Kennett Township is the recipient of a $1.3 million land conservation grant from Mt. Cuba Center, that will be earmarked for the township's acquisition of two parcels of open space – totaling 123 acres – in the township.

The announcement was made at the township's board of supervisors meeting on Oct. 3

In a recent letter to township manager Lisa Moore, Mt. Cuba Center’s President Ann Copeland Rose wrote, “I am pleased to inform you that the Board of Managers of Mt. Cuba Center has unanimously approved a grant to Kennett Township in the amount of $1,300,000 for the acquisition of these two properties. The Board is happy to be able to provide this support for such a worthy cause and passes along its best wishes for the continued success in your conservation efforts.”

Moore said that the grant from Mt. Cuba is the largest single open space grant the township has ever received.

“Typically, our major conservation grants come from the State of Pennsylvania and Chester County, both of whom are exceptionally supportive of our open space program,” Moore said. “However, for those grants, the township is required to provide at least a 50 percent match and meet a number of complex requirements. Amazingly, Mt. Cuba Center’s grant does not require matching funds or any contingents, and was granted within weeks of our request, making it an especially timely and generous gift.”

Board Chairman Scudder Stevens said that the grant serves as a major boost to the township's on-going efforts to conserve at least 30 percent of the township as protected open space.

“While most of the township’s previously protected open space is held by conservation organizations and home owners associations, these newly acquired properties will be owned solely by the township with a conservation easement held by a conservation organization, providing us with maximum flexibility to manage them to meet the changing recreational needs and environmental challenges of the Township,” Stevens said.

“This incredible gift from Mt. Cuba Center helps us effectively double the size of our Township-owned protected open space at a very low per-acre cost to the Township,” said Jeff Yetter, who heads the Township’s Land Conservation Advisory Committee. “In addition, both of the two properties involved are adjacent to existing protected open space and to other properties we are targeting for permanent conservation, ultimately creating entire corridors of conserved lands. These are major wins for our Township and its residents, and we thank Mt. Cuba Center for their helping hand.”

The township will provide additional details about these properties and its plans for them after their purchase has been finalized, which is currently expected later this month.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].