The Chester County Commissioners announced Thursday an agricultural land preservation milestone in the County. Since 1990, Chester County’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board has approved the preservation of 40,000 farm acres on more than 500 farms. Farms with 10 acres or more are eligible for both the Commonwealth/County Program and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program if they are adjacent to other permanently preserved land. For farms not adjacent to permanently preserved land, the acreage minimums are 50 acres for the Commonwealth/County Program and 25 acres for the Challenge Grant Program. This farmland preservation represents a significant contribution to Chester County’s overall open space preservation program, which now accounts for 28 percent of the County. Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline said: “Many of the farms that have sought preservation in Chester County are ‘century farms’ which have been in the same family for at least 100 years. In this instance, the preservation funds can help transition the farm to the next generation, in addition to preserving the open fields and rolling hills.” Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said: “The variety of preserved farms in Chester County reflects the diversity of our agriculture. From fruits, vegetables, soybeans and mushrooms to tree farms, dairy, beef, pigs, turkey and ducks, equine operations – even alpacas.”
The application deadline for both the Commonwealth/County Program and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program is August 1, 2018. For more information, including applications and program guidelines go to www.chesco.org/openspaceor call Geoff Shellington at 610-344-6504.