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Schuylkill Center secures 24 Acres of green space in Upper Roxborough for permanent conservation
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Schuylkill Center secures 24 Acres of green space in Upper Roxborough for permanent conservation

With the latest addition, the Schuylkill Center is now the largest preserved private property in Philadelphia.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education has placed 24 acres of pristine green space in Upper Roxborough under a permanent conservation easement. This move ensures that this land will remain untouched by development, serving as a sanctuary for nature for generations to come.

The newly preserved area will seamlessly integrate with the existing 340-acre protected main campus, culminating in a sprawling 365-acre expanse – Philadelphia’s largest privately preserved property.

Located along Port Royal Avenue, facing Eva Street, the 24-acre parcel was originally entrusted to the Center by one of its founding families. The conservation easement was established in partnership with Natural Lands, which already holds the easement for the Center’s 340-acre main campus.

Last year, donors stepped up with a $3 million gift, channeled through Vanguard Charitable, which was made possible by Schuylkill Center supporters and environmental advocates Jessica Berwind and Joanna Berwind. This transformative donation was the Center’s most substantial ever, effectively quashing any development rights on the land, locally referred to as the Boy Scout Tract.

“The Berwind sisters and their families are eager to see the Center leverage this gift into becoming a world-class Center for generations to come through its people, programming, and campus, enriching the local community at a time when development continues to replace green space in the city,” the family said in a statement.

Since its inception in 1965, the Schuylkill Center has ardently protected over 400 acres of open space in Roxborough, with its main campus bordered by Port Royal Avenue, Hagys Mill Road, Spring Lane, and the Schuylkill River Trail. This expansive area is the backdrop for the Center’s diverse programs, nestled amidst forests, fields, streams, and meadows – a living testament to its unwavering commitment to environmental preservation.

Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers, courtesy of Schuylkill Center

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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