Heritage Conservancy Acquires the 40-acre Jerry Pursell Nature Preserve in Springfield Township

July 7th, 2017

This property combines with the Conservancy’s Fuller Preserve to make a 100-acre nature preserve that is open to the public.

With assistance from Springfield Township and the Bucks County’s Natural Areas Program, Heritage Conservancy acquired 40 acres of woodlands in Springfield Township, Bucks County. Located along Slifer Valley Road, the acquisition of the Jerry Pursell Nature Preserve not only protects critical ecological resources in the Cooks Creek Watershed but it creates a 100-acre publicly accessible nature preserve in the heart of Springfield Township.

Featuring trails that provide passive recreation opportunities, Heritage Conservancy is thrilled to open the largest public nature preserve in Springfield Township as a benefit for our community and future generations. As the owner of the property, Heritage Conservancy will be responsible for its ongoing stewardship to ensure that the sensitive natural resources are properly managed and that the property is maintained in a safe condition for the public to enjoy.

The Jerry Pursell Nature Preserve contains fully forested land with flowing tributaries leading to Cooks Creek, and it extends to the Conservancy’s 60-acre Fuller Preserve. These two properties are part of a larger contiguous area of 1,500 acres of preserved land.

“Tall trees, wildflowers and the song of birds call. We are excited to bring visitors closer to the unique natural setting of Cooks Creek,” said Jeff Marshall, President of Heritage Conservancy. “By adding to an already important tract of open space, we are working with the community to make experiencing nature an even more worthwhile and enjoyable activity.“

The two adjoining preserves are located in Heritage Conservancy’s Cooks Creek Lasting Landscape. Cooks Creek has been designated as an Exceptional Value stream by the Pennsylvania DEP and is the only viable cold-water fishery in Bucks County that supports a naturally reproducing trout population. Trout only thrive in some of the most pristine conditions, and protecting land in the Cooks Creek Lasting Landscape helps to keep the creek healthy.

When we preserve land, we are not just preserving its natural resources but the human stories and emotions tied to it as well.

In honor of her late husband Jerry, Doris Pursell sold this 40-acre property to Heritage Conservancy at a bargain sale price, which means that she accepted a great deal less than what the property was worth because its preservation was so important to her. For nearly 35 years, she and Jerry spent much of their time together hiking in summer and snow shoeing in winter while enjoying the woodlands and wildlife. Doris wanted to ensure that this special place would be protected forever.

“I love Bucks County and the people in this community. It thrills me to know that the property that brought us such joy will be protected and taken care of by Heritage Conservancy and that it will continue to be enjoyed by the public,” says Doris.

Along with the bargain sale donation, funding from Bucks County’s Natural Areas Program, Springfield Township, Art of Preservation, and private donations from community members made this acquisition possible. As a condition of funding, Springfield Township and Bucks County will co-hold a conservation easement on the property.

Heritage Conservancy is set to have a grand unveiling for the newly acquired preserve in September. Stay tuned for more information!

 

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