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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Save the Chandler Mill Bridge, Create a Nature Preserve, and Leave a Legacy!

The beautiful Chandler Mill Bridge in summer!
The Chandler Mill Bridge’s future has been in limbo for over 9 years. Finally, a forward-thinking decision is right around the corner! The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County has led the charge on behalf of the Chandler Mill Bridge Consortium to convert the CMB to pedestrian-only. Now, with the decision in its twilight hours, we need your help! Sign this petition and read on below to learn about the CMB and why your opinion matters.

Located between Kaolin Road and Hillendale Road, the Chandler Mill Bridge is a historic, steel-plate through girder bridge. Built in 1910, the CMB is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and sits above the rural, scenic Red Clay Creek.

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in May of 2011, after a routine inspection declared it unsafe. Originally, TLC advocated for rehabilitation of the bridge. Over the past 9 years, the CMB issue has evolved and the TLC’s stance has evolved with it. The bridge used to be a farm-to-market relic. Times have changed, and now we have the opportunity to create a public nature preserve with extensive trail linkages. Even within the last week, exciting new opportunities have developed!

Site of proposed Chandler Mill Nature Preserve
If the CMB is converted to pedestrian-only, a private landowner has pledged land to create a Chandler Mill Nature Preserve and Interpretive Center! The Preserve will contain 50 acres of public-access open land, connecting people to nature and recreation. Interior and perimeter trails will traverse the preserve, and the preserve will host a nature interpretation center. TLC and bridge neighbors submitted a formal proposal on May 19th to the Kennett Township. The proposal is a blueprint for all trail networks plans involving the CMB-- from the Red Clay Greenway to the Nature Preserve.

Sketch of the pedestrian-only CMB
Currently, Chester County owns the Chandler Mill Bridge. The County is interested in demolishing the bridge and replacing it with a two-lane bridge. In practical terms, a two-lane bridge means no Nature Preserve and no Red Clay Greenway. Fortunately for CMB supporters, the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that Chester County must exhaust all alternatives to demolition, as required by federal law.  Therefore, if Kennett Township accepts ownership of the bridge-- the County will convert the CMB to pedestrian-only! As clarified at the CMB Kennett Township meeting on April 30th, there are federal, state, and local funds available to convert the bridge. 

We all moved to Kennett Township to enjoy the rural, scenic community. As Kennett Township develops, our back roads are becoming heavily trafficked, open land is converted to housing developments, and historic bridges are demolished. The Chandler Mill Bridge represents a piece of history and beauty. Kennett Township will likely hold a vote in June about the CMB’s future. In the meantime, sign this petition to convince the Kennett Supervisors to Save the Chandler Mill Bridge, Create a Nature Preserve, and Leave a Legacy!  Keep an eye out for more information about the ongoing efforts to preserve the Chandler Mill Bridge and safeguard our quickly-disappearing quality of life. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to save a historic bridge from demolition-- while creating an amazing community resource, enhancing our township, and protecting our quality of life for generations to come.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sustainability Saturday

Top Bar Hive @ TLC apiary
This past weekend The Land Conservancy kicked-off our monthly Open Hive Days AND our new members-only series called How Things Work at Longwood Gardens.

A big thanks to the large group of beekeepers, both current and potential, for joining us for the opening month! TLC's beekeeper, Dan Borkoski, was able to show the new Top Bar Hive we received over the winter. This new type of hive is beneficial because it is portable, easier to observe and access, and some say that it is a more natural way to manage honeybees. TLC's Open Hive Days occur once per month from May - October every year. Click here to register for an Open Hive Day!

Solar Fields @ Longwood Gardens
The beautiful Saturday afternoon continued on with a behind-the-scenes tour of Longwood Garden's sustainability efforts in the solar & compost field. Ed Lloyd, Matt Taylor and Dave Fraczkowski gave TLC members a unique tour of the solar fields followed by a tour of the composting fields. How Things Work: Longwood Gardens is a three-part series. Part II will take place on Saturday, July 12th and will explore the library and historical archives of Longwood. Part III will be held Saturday, September 6th and will be a private tour of the new meadow garden. Click here to register for parts II and III!

Don't worry if you were unavailable last weekend to attend either event -- both are reoccurring and we welcome you to join us next time! Visit our website to see more education programs going on this summer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

April Showers...

...Bring May Flowers! Just in time for the Girl Scouts Troop to complete their Flower Badge on a beautiful Sunday in May at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Each scout created a botanist notebook made from recycled paper, which was used to record five different flowers on the preserve. They used magnifying glasses to see up close and record/sketch different segments of the flower, and also recorded the scent and any other observations, such as pollinators in the area or location.
Creating a botanist notebook.

After filling up the notebooks, one of TLC's Pennsylvania Master Naturalist helped the girls create a natural flower terrarium which shows the different layers necessary for flower production.

If your scout troop is interested in earning their nature badge with The Land Conservancy, please contact or call 610-347-0347 x 104.
Adding flowers to the botany notebooks.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Break in Nature

TLC recently offered a Spring Break in Nature program during most local school's spring breaks to offer kids the opportunity to enjoy their time off. We first encountered a rainy day, but there were a handful of brave souls who persevered despite the weather. It was rather fitting on that day since we were going to be looking at life in the water!
Categorizing macroinvertebrates.
We explored the role of macroinvertebrates in the Red Clay  Creek, and found flatworms, midges, caddisflies and other larvae suggesting an average water quality rating. Fortunately, the remainder of the week was dry!

Bird nest creation.
One day consisted of habitat building using natural items, where we switched gears into the mind of a bird. What types of items would make for a good nest? Together, we created a bird nest and learned about the long process a bird must go through, especially without hands! The group also created a natural habitat made from a fallen beech tree and its branches. The best way to enjoy and learn about nature is to play in nature.

Natural habitat building.

TLC also holds a similar program in August called, Free Time Adventures in Nature. Please contact or call 610-347-0347 x 104 for more information on this event! See more youth programs here:

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