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For Immediate Release:

Brandywine Conservancy Plants 25,000th Tree
Significant partnerships advance reforestation goal nearly a year ahead of schedule.
New goal set - 50,000 trees for 50th anniversary

Chadds Ford, PA March 31, 2014 - The Brandywine Conservancy's Reforestation Campaign will achieve its five-year goal ahead of schedule when it plants its 25,000th tree in East Brandywine Township on April 19, 2014.

The Brandywine Conservancy will plant 600 native trees along the East Branch of the Brandywine at a property owned by East Brandywine Township. Native hardwood tree species to be planted will include redbud, serviceberry, red-twig dogwood, sweetbay magnolia, sycamore, red maple, silver maple, and swamp white oak, selected specially for this important site.

The Conservancy's extensive campaign is made possible through collaboration with many community partners including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Stroud Water Research Center, Guardians of the Brandywine, East Brandywine Township, Victory Brewing, DuPont, ArcelorMittal, Environmental Resources Management, Inc., PECO, Exelon, school groups, scout groups, and many community volunteers. "The Brandywine Conservancy's focus on preserving our land and water fits naturally with our ambitious reforestation campaign. We are proud to collaborate with our community partners, working together to improve water quality from the source to the faucet in the Brandywine Watershed in Pennsylvania and Delaware," said Brandywine Conservancy Director, Sherri Evans-Stanton.

Historical Significance of Forests in the Brandywine Watershed
Forests historically covered well over 90 percent of the landscape within the watershed. This forest cover protected the soil, keeping stormwater from washing it away. Old growth trees and subsequent biological diversity gave the watershed balance and virtually pristine water quality. As the Brandywine Watershed developed, development removed forests, resulting in forested land now comprising only about 28% of the current watershed. As a result, 40% of the Brandywine Creek's stream miles show substantial deterioration today.

In short, reforesting the watershed is an excellent way to restore water quality. In particular, reforesting steep slopes and riparian areas (strips of land immediately adjacent to a stream) are targeted in the Conservancy's Campaign because these specific areas are especially vulnerable to erosion and, when reforested, prevent sedimentation and can filter out pollutants from entering waterways. The Conservancy's Reforestation Campaign allows forests to carry out tasks that are vital to the ecosystem and to the health of our waters.

Reforestation = Cleaner Drinking Water
The reforestation of the watershed also benefits the businesses that rely on the Brandywine Watershed as a resource for producing their products. "Drinking water or delicious beer is dependent on healthy streams, protected by functional riparian buffers.The Brandywine Conservancy's work here is an investment in our shared future," said Bill Covaleski, co-owner of Victory Brewing. The brewery's location fewer than 14 miles away from the headwaters of the Brandywine inextricably links the health of the watershed to the excellence of the brews. Victory Brewing demonstrates its belief in watershed restoration and protection through its Headwaters Grant program which is funded by a portion of the sales of its Headwaters Pale Ale. Victory Brewing will sponsor a celebratory root beer toast at the April 19th celebration.

The East Brandywine Township site for the April 19th celebration is situated just upstream of the Downingtown water intake, making it an especially suitable and meaningful location for the Conservancy's planting celebration. This and other reforestation projects, taken together, will result in cleaner water for downstream communities in Pennsylvania and Delaware that rely on the Brandywine for their drinking water, including the City of Wilmington, a unique bi-state partner.

Conservancy Sets Ambitious New Goal: 50 by 50 Reforestation Campaign
An additional 6,000 trees will be planted at multiple sites in the spring and fall of 2014 with the support of volunteers and funds from various grant sources. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society continues to be a primary source of funding in the campaign. "The PHS-Plant One Million campaign, a three state, 13 county initiative to reforest urban and community forests, supports Brandywine Conservancy in their tree planting effort through our TreeVitalize Watersheds grant program and are excited to celebrate their 25,000th tree planted," said Emma Melvin, Plant One Million Regional Project Manager.

Building on the Reforestation Campaign's success, the Conservancy has announced an expanded goal "50 by 50," to plant 50,000 trees by the Conservancy's 50th anniversary in 2017. The 50 by 50 Campaign allows the Conservancy to further the impact of our targeted water quality improvement. Additionally, the Conservancy continues to hope to inspire additional projects through the visibility and educational opportunity that each reforestation site provides.

Details for East Brandywine Township Planting
When: April 19, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

Where: SE corner of PA 282 Creek Road and Dowlin Forge Road

Contact: Wes Horner, Senior Advisor for Water Resources, whorner@brandywine.org

Volunteer for future tree plantings
Additional plantings planned and facilitated by the Brandywine Conservancy, provide opportunities for volunteers including:
  • April 12 at 8:30 a.m. - 300 trees in East Bradford Township at Brandywine Farm (on PA 842 at intersection with Creek Road) with volunteers from the West Chester Rotary, West Chester University, Henderson High School and East Bradford Township;
  • April 26 at 9:00 a.m. - 1,200 trees in East Nottingham Township at the Nottingham Elementary School's fallow field (rear of School) with volunteers from the Oxford Area School District, Oxford Area Rotary, local community groups and funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Growing Greener program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
  • May 3 at 9:00 a.m. - 600 trees in Pennsbury Township at Pennsbury Mill/Craigs Mill, historic structures on permanently protected open space with volunteers from Pennsbury Land Trust and Pennsbury Township and funded through the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society TreeVitalize Program


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About the Brandywine Conservancy
Water resource protection and management have been the vital work of the Brandywine Conservancy since its founding in 1967. The Conservancy currently holds 449 conservation easements and has permanently protected and facilitated the preservation of more than 59,000 acres in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. In Pennsylvania, the Brandywine Conservancy's easement holdings represent more than 17% of the total acres of land under conservation easement in the Commonwealth. The Conservancy also provides innovative municipal planning assistance and is leading the Brandywine Creek Greenway, a regional planning initiative involving 24 municipalities that seeks to create a 30 mile conservation corridor from the Delaware State border at Chadds Ford to Honey Brook. The Conservancy is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. For more information about the Conservancy see: www.brandywine.org

MEDIA CONTACTS: Hillary Holland 610.388.8336 hholland@brandywine.orgor
Lora Englehart 610-388-8337 lenglehart@brandywine.org





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