Concord residents and all county residents will be able to continue to enjoy the pastures, winding trails, and wildlife of the scenic and historic Beaver Valley property. After years of planning, the 240 acres, just west of bustling Route 202, will be preserved as open space.
Delaware County Council, Concord Township officials, the Conservation Fund, the Mount Cuba Center, and the Brandywine Conservancy have come together to purchase the property.
The land is owned by Woodlawn Trustees Inc., a Delaware real estate company, and developers Eastern States Development Co. and the McKee Group.
“County Council is thrilled to have worked with Concord Township to preserve this beautiful piece of land for our residents to enjoy,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Colleen Morrone. “This serves as a model for future open space initiatives, and we look forward to working together with other municipal leaders and conservation groups to preserve open space throughout our county.”
The McKee Group confirms an agreement of sale had been made, but is not publicly disclosing the purchase price.
The agreement outlines the necessary terms for the protection of the property, including raising additional funding to assure the acquisition can be completed. The conservation groups must raise an additional $8 million to finalize the purchase, which the partners hope to complete by the spring of 2017.
Concord Township contributed $500,000 and Delaware County Council contributed $250,000 toward the purchase of Beaver Valley. The county funds were derived from funds coming through the ACT 13 (Impact Fees/Marcellus Shale). No county tax dollars were used for the purchase.
Originally acquired by William Penn from the Duke of York in 1682, Beaver Valley lies near the banks of the Brandywine River in Concord Township. Nearby, in 1777 General George Washington’s troops fought the British in the American Revolution.
Beaver Valley, often referred to as “The Valley” by locals, is used by hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and runners throughout the region. For centuries, the scenic property has inspired generations of artists, including acclaimed painter Andrew Wyeth.
“Preserving Beaver Valley is a success story for the entire community,” said Morrone. “This pristine property has been enjoyed for generations, and we commend all of the partners who worked to ensure it will be enjoyed for our future generations as well.”
Over the past 20 years, Delaware County Council has organized many efforts to plan for and acquire open space. In 1994, Council commissioned the Delaware County Open Space Project Leadership Group to address the issues of regreening and open space preservation. In 2000, Council formed the Delaware County Growing Greener Committee to find alternate ways to support the preservation of open space.
Delaware County Council worked with various municipal leaders, private property owners, and conservation groups to acquire 46 acres of the Mineral Hill property in Middletown in 2010, nine acres of the Summit School property in Nether Providence in 2015, and 33 acres of the Little Flower Manor property in Darby Township in June 2016.
The completed purchase of the 240-acre Beaver Valley property would mark over 300 total acres of open space that Council has worked to preserve in the past six years.
Delaware County now has 1,116 acres of county-owned parks and conservation areas and 17,000 acres of protected open space, which includes Ridley Creek State Park and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
The Brandywine Conservancy is accepting contributions to be used for the purchase of Beaver Valley.
Contributions can be sent to:
Kim Reynolds, Director of Development
Brandywine Conservancy and Museum
P.O. Box 141
Chads Ford, PA 19317