Southwest Chester County Agricultural Area

 

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Home to some of the best agricultural land anywhere, southwestern Chester County also shelters an important cultural landscape in Pennsylvania, reflecting a distinctive and historic rural heritage. Homesteads of the Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites, interspersed with "English" farms, imbue this working landscape with a unique charm. The region is also blessed with abundant natural resources, including exceptional and high value streams, rare plant habitat, and notable areas such as the Serpentine Barrens and White Clay Creek Preserve.


Development is stealing away the agricultural base of the region; land that is so productive for food crops also readily supports a growing crop of new homes and businesses. The good news is, that in the face of this pressure, conservation efforts here have excelled. Southwestern Chester County is the seat of one of the most effective farmland protection efforts in the nation. The focus now among the region's conservation organizations is to take this successful land protection program and advance it to the next level. KCT is working with organizations here in charting a course for transforming local conservation efforts to a multi-county or even interstate scale. In crossing this threshold, the stakeholder team is focused on building from its successes while targeting a prioritized set of needs such as creating regional image recognition and a strategy for attracting federal funding.