A wonderful ‘full circle’ feeling: A new land conservation easement preserves over 55 acres in Upper Bucks County

This month Heritage Conservancy has completed the preservation of a 55.6 acre property in Richland Township in Upper Bucks County.

The Corn Property is adjacent to Heritage Conservancy’s 70-acre Quakertown Swamp Preserve, which is a DCNR-designated Native Plant Sanctuary. With its rare and endangered plant species, this property adds to the sanctuary. It also provides an important buffer to further protect the rare and endangered resources in this area.

According to the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory, the Quakertown Swamp is one of the largest intact, inland wetlands in southeastern Pennsylvania. It stores water during floods which helps to prevent costly flood damage to downstream areas. And its dense plant growth absorbs pollutants from water, which helps to maintain our region’s water quality. 

Designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, Quakertown Swamp supports several rare bird species and is home to what may be the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in eastern Pennsylvania and over 70 species of other nesting birds.

The Corn Property includes forested areas, springs, and habitat for several species of amphibians and reptiles, which are dependent on wetlands. It is also part of a habitat corridor along Bog Run that will link Pennsylvania State Game Lands, Great Blue Heron Rookery, critical salamander vernal pools and migration routes, and breeding grounds for various species of turtles.

This conservation project was jointly funded by Richland Township and PA DCNR. Heritage Conservancy will serve as the Holder of the Conservation Easement for the property, ensuring it remains undeveloped in perpetuity and supporting its owners in land stewardship.

“The Richland Township Preservation Board is proud to have been able to partner with Heritage Conservancy and the DCNR on this conservation project,” says Kathleen Fedorocsko, Chair of the Preservation Committee for Richland Township. 

“Because of the generosity and foresight of the Corn family, we were able to collectively protect 55 acres of valuable soils, woodlands, and stream corridors and help protect the buffer to the Quakertown Swamp. In our rapidly urbanizing township, this is an important accomplishment now more than ever as these areas are disappearing rapidly and are so important to help keep balance in our community.”

Marlin and Joann Corn live on the property along with Marlin’s brother, Jeffrey. Marlin understands the needs for natural land preservation and conservation from the inside out.

“I’ve been a big fan of Heritage Conservancy since first becoming acquainted via my work in the environmental education field many years ago, but I never thought I’d be in a position to actually partner in this way,” he says. “It’s a wonderful ‘full circle’ kind of feeling.”

With a land easement, property is protected from development in perpetuity, so that even future owners cannot develop it or build on its protected areas. Heritage Conservancy manages the transaction. In addition to monitoring the site, we serve as a resource for stewardship, offering information and resources if property owners wish.

“We look forward to driving past that sign on our way home everyday,” says Marlin. “It’s going to be nice to be continually reminded of this legacy.”

Funding assistance has been provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund.

Read more about Quakertown Swamp’s wildlife habitat and ecological importance.