Fall Planners’ Forum Focuses on Housing and Open Space

Topics ranging from housing to open space preservation were discussed during the Chester County Planning Commission’s fall 2019 Planners’ Forum. About 60 people attended the forum, which took place at Historic Yellow Springs in West Pikeland Township on Oct. 1.

“At the forum, we heard three excellent presentations,” said Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary.

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Chester County Commissioners Establish Environmental and Energy Advisory Board

The Chester County Commissioners presented plans for the County’s new Environmental and Energy Advisory Board to an audience of municipal representatives at the County’s annual stormwater management conference on Sept. 20. The Commissioners approved a resolution to establish the advisory board at a public meeting earlier this month, with the goal of creating a Climate Action Plan for Chester County. The Environmental and Energy Advisory Board will enhance the County’s commitment to preservation and protection of the environment and focus on the balance, interplay, and impact of energy-related initiatives and issues.

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Learn about Hexagonal Schoolhouse in Caln

School is out for the summer but at least one in Chester County – the Caln Hexagonal Schoolhouse – is open occasionally for historical tours.

“They say Caln Township was just 12 large farms to begin with when a group of Quaker settlers from Calne England arrived here,” said Caln Township Community Outreach Specialist Abbey Swan. “Those same families are connected to most of the historical buildings in the township (and there are a lot) including the Hexagonal Schoolhouse.”

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Join in the Town Tours and Village Walks

The 25th summer of Chester County’s Town Tours and Village Walks program will begin on June 13 at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity in West Chester. The theme of this year’s series is exploring the county’s villages “Then and Now.” There will be 10 more tours this summer – every Thursday night. Back by popular demand, two fall supper lectures have been added during October and December. The free summer strolls will take place in historic neighborhoods, hamlets, villages, and sites throughout Chester County. These events are sponsored by the Chester County Commissioners through the Chester County Planning Commission and its partners, including Westtown Township, the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the Chester County Historic Preservation Network, the Chester County Historical Society, and other local participating municipalities. View more information about the tours or contact Chester County Heritage Preservation Coordinator Karen Marshall at kmarshall@chesco.org for a brochure.

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Chester County Unveils Return on Environment Report during Open Space Summit

While surrounded by the rolling fields and wildlife at the ChesLen Preserve, Chester County officials – along with representatives from municipalities, land conservation organizations, and economic development agencies – celebrated the 30th anniversary of open space preservation and the economic benefits of these efforts during an Open Space Summit May 2.

As part of the summit, the Chester County Commissioners announced results of a study, Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Chester County, and unveiled a video about the report. The video highlighted the valuable economic, environmental, and public health benefits that open space preservation has provided to Chester County for the past three decades.

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Join us at Chester County Open Space Summit

Celebrate 30 years of open space preservation in Chester County! The inaugural Chester County Open Space Summit will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2 at the Lenfest Center at ChesLen Preserve, 1199 Cannery Road, Coatesville. The event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the county’s open space preservation program and recognize the economic benefits of these efforts. The results of a study, Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Chester County, will be announced at the event. The report highlights the proven and substantial economic, environmental, and public health benefits of open space preservation to surrounding communities. Register online. Continue Reading →

Natural Lands President Oliver Bass Attends Planning Commission Board Meeting

Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands, highlighted his regional land conservation organization and its partnership with Chester County during a Chester County Planning Commission board meeting April 10th.

Bass said the 65-year-old nonprofit organization “saves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.” The organization has been around since the early 1950s thanks to Allston Jenkins, an accountant who took up birding as a hobby.

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Brandywine Conservancy Director Ellen Ferretti Attends Planning Commission Board Meeting

Ellen Ferretti, director of the Brandywine Conservancy, highlighted her organization and its partnership with Chester County during a Chester County Planning Commission board meeting March 13th.

The Brandywine Conservancy was founded in 1967 as the Tri-County Conservancy serving Chester and Delaware counties and New Castle County, Delaware. It is based in Chadds Ford, Delaware County.

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Natural Lands President Will Retire but Remain on Planning Commission

Molly K. Morrison, a well-known advocate for protecting and conserving open spaces, natural areas, and farmland in southeastern Pennsylvania, will be retiring from Natural Lands at the end of 2018 after 14 years as the organization’s president.

Under Molly’s leadership, Natural Lands has preserved permanently more than 32,000 acres of open space – including landmark additions to their preserve system such as Bear Creek, Bryn Coed, ChesLen, and Green Hills Preserves along with Stoneleigh: a natural garden – and elevated the organization’s focus on stewarding natural resources and connecting people to the outdoors.  Continue Reading →