The 180 acre Okehocking Preserve was purchased through funding from the Willistown Township Open Space Fund, the Chester County Preservation Partnership and Municipal Grant Programs, and the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnership Program. The county and state grants carry covenants that run with the land protecting it for recreation and natural resource protection in perpetuity. Another layer of protection in the form of a conservation easement held by Willistown Conservation Trust protects the property from traditional development, allowing for a nature center to be constructed at the barn ruins by the Garrett Farmhouse and active recreation at the Powwow Field across from Garrett Mill Park.
This document provides the Township with natural resource management guidelines while considering passive recreation opportunities. The document may be altered in an ongoing effort to enhance and interpret the needs of both the Township's residents for access, education, and recreation, as well as to provide for the unique flora, fauna, and ecosystems found at Okehocking.
The Township received a grant front the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Growing Greener program in the amount of $69,328 to remove a dam across the main stem of Ridley Creek at Okehocking Preserve. The project was a continuation of the mission to free Ridley Creek from impediments in order to restore the stream's natural dynamics, improve stream ecology, and permit anadromous fish passage. Further benefits include removing the accumulated sediments behind the dam and stabilizing significantly eroded stream banks associated with the dam. Additionally, 7 acres of invasive multiflora rose were removed from the banks of the Ridley and its Delchester Run tributary.
Numerous environmental stewardship projects have taken place and there are ongoing stewardship activities at Okehocking Preserve.Contact the Parks & Recreation Department to find out more or get involved.