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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TLC's Summer Programs Receive Grant Awards

TLC is excited to announce that we have been awarded several special grants in support of our upcoming summer programs. Throughout the year, TLC hosts over 75 unique programs, providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about our local natural resources and enjoy the natural lands TLC works to protect. We are extremely grateful to all of our grant funders, who help us to expand and improve these programs to better serve our community.

Bucktoe Cemetery Education Program--Grant Awarded by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society Endowment Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation

Students uncovering the original church foundation in 2014
The Pennsylvania Abolition Society was founded in 1775 in Philadelphia, and was the first abolition society ever established. The Pennsylvania Abolition Society Endowment Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation continues the legacy of their work by awarding grants to organizations and programs that improve the lives of African Americans in Pennsylvania. TLC is honored to be among these grantees this year, with a generous grant awarded for our 2015 Bucktoe Cemetery Education Program. 
TLC has been working since 2010 to restore the Bucktoe Cemetery, an African American Civil War cemetery that is part of an important historic African American community site. Thanks to the support of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, TLC will bring a group of students to the site for five weeks, and the Bucktoe Cemetery and surrounding area will become a Living History Classroom. Students will be immersed in our local African American history through hands-on exploration, led by Professional Restorationist Eugene Hough and TLC's staff. 

Students will conduct archaeological digs of the foundation of the original church, which is believed to have been burned down by the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1900s, and the area surrounding the cemetery. The program will also include classroom sessions and hikes of the surrounding natural and historic area. The program's goal is to connect and inform students about our local African American history, honor the soldiers buried in the Bucktoe Cemetery, and emphasize the ways in which land and history are interconnected. 

Outdoor Education Programs--Grant Awarded by the North Face Explore Fund
Funding from the North Face Explore Fund will help TLC to expand the reach of our educational programming and bring groups from underserved populations to experience the Bucktoe Creek Preserve at no cost. This funding will enable us to bring groups from organizations such as the Garage Youth Center, Tick Tock Early Learning Center, and La Comunidad Hispana, to the property to explore the preserve’s 300 acres of meadows, woodlands, streams, and ponds. The preserve is only open to the public through programming, and this funding will enable us to provide more opportunities for the public to experience this amazing natural area! 

Free Time Adventures in Nature--Grants Awarded by the Captain Planet Foundation and the DEP Environmental Education Grant Program

Heading out on the trails at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve
This year, TLC has received two grants for our popular Free Time Adventures in Nature Program! This year will mark the third year of the program, which will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in August at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Each day, we will hike the preserve's trails, stopping along the way to explore ponds, splash and skip stones in the creek, play games, do nature crafts, and search for salamanders on the ground and kestrels in the sky.

The goal of Free Time Adventures in Nature is to immerse children in nature through hands-on, self-guided exploration and play, which will lead them to form powerful connections with the environment that they will carry with them through life. We are extremely grateful to the grant funders who support this program as it expands and improves each year. This year, grant funding will also enable us to expand our inventory of educational equipment for the program, such as binoculars, insect and aquatic nets, field guides, and magnifying glasses.

"We are thrilled to present this award to The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County," says Leesa Carter, Executive Director of the Captain Planet Foundation. "We receive hundreds of submissions each year and have to be very selective to whom we award funding. This is one of the few projects from across the country that we chose to fund. We wish TLC great success as they work to implement this important project. It is our hope that our combined efforts will educate, empower, involve, and invest today's youth to cultivate a better tomorrow."

Free Time Adventures in Nature is filling up quickly, but spots are still available. Click Here to register!

Open Hive Days--Grant Awarded by the DEP Environmental Education Grant Program

Examining our Top-Bar Hive during an Open Hive Day
This Earth Day, the DEP Environmental Education Grant Program announced their award of a grant to TLC in support of our July, August, September, and October Open Hive Days! This monthly program provides an inside look inside the hives at TLC's New Leaf Eco Center Apiary, guided by Beekeeper Dan Borkoski. The program is open to people of all ages, and each session is packed with information about honeybee life cycles, threats to honeybees such as varroa mites and Colony Collapse Disorder, the importance of pollinators to our environment, and honeybees' role in production of the food we eat. 

All Open Hive Day participants will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the inner workings of a hives as Dan performs inspections and maintenance. Those who choose to attend multiple sessions will observe the evolution of a hive throughout the season. TLC offers protective veils to ensure safety, and our observation hive and outdoor classroom provide even more educational opportunities for attendees. The program is the perfect opportunity for prospective beekeepers to receive valuable advice about starting their own hives, and for current beekeepers to discuss their techniques and experiences.

Click Here to view dates and register for this year's Open Hive Days!

Thank you to all of our grant funders for your generosity! We are so excited to begin our summer programming with your support, which helps us to get more people of all ages outdoors to explore and learn from our vital lands and historic sites.

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