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Preserved land added to Quakertown Swamp Preserve


The nonprofit Heritage Conservancy has preserved 55.6 acres in Richland Township that will add to — and buffer — a habitat that’s teeming with wildlife and rare plants.

Marlin and Joann Corn own and live on the property that adjoins Heritage Conservancy’s 70-acre Quakertown Swamp Preserve, a state-designated Native Plant Sanctuary.

Under the terms of the deal, Heritage Conservancy will hold a conservation easement for the property, which will ensure it remains undeveloped in perpetuity. The conservancy will also help the Corns be good stewards of the property, which features forested areas, springs and habitats for salamanders and turtles.

“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,” Marlin Corn said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful ‘full circle’ kind of feeling.”

The National Audubon Society has designated Quakertown Swamp an “Important Bird Area.” According to Heritage Conservancy, it is home to more than 70 species of nesting birds, some of them rare, and it may be the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in Eastern Pennsylvania. It’s also “one of the largest intact, inland wetlands in Southeastern Pennsylvania” and, by storing water during floods, it plays a role in mitigating downstream impacts.

The conservation project was jointly funded by Richland and the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Kathleen Fedorocske, who chairs the township’s preservation board, said the board was “proud” to partner with the conservancy and DCNR.

“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,” she said in the statement. “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.”

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