Click here for an interactive map of the Brandywine Creek Greenway and the Circuit.
The Concept Plan for the Brandywine Creek Greenway was completed by the Brandywine Conservancy, a land trust in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in May 2013 and lists the following overall goals:
- To protect and improve vital natural resources within the Brandywine watershed.
- To promote and enhance the recreational use of municipal, county, and state-owned open space.
- To provide safe transportation alternatives for walkers, cyclists, and equestrians.
- To mitigate flooding in flood-prone areas.
- To preserve nationally- and municipally-designated historic resources and their surrounding landscapes.
- To foster education of the Brandywine River and its resources.
- To preserve state- and municipally-designated scenic resources and buffer scenic resources from new development.
- To foster economic activity in urbanized areas.
The Brandywine Creek Greenway (BCG) is a regional planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy in partnership with municipalities and non-profit organizations that are active in the Chester Valley region of Pennsylvania and Delaware. It is made possible with generous support from the William Penn Foundation and private donors. The Brandywine Creek runs through a highly desirable area west of Philadelphia, PA and north of the City of Wilmington, DE where development pressures threaten the very landscapes that attract those who go there to live and work. Development often cannot be avoided. Municipalities, however, can choose to make resource protection, land preservation, recreation and alternative transportation the top priorities that shape their communities.
Planning for BCG began in 2010 with inventory mapping that examined topography, geology, prime farmland soils, existing land use, natural features, open space and recreation, and cultural features. A series of regional workshops allowed municipal representatives to prioritize possible functions of the BCG, such as to: preserve plant and animal habitat; enhance water quality; improve air quality; mitigate flooding; manage economic opportunities; promote recreation; foster outdoor education; provide transportation alternatives; buffer the Brandywine from new development; preserve agricultural lands; protect scenic resources; and preserve historic resources. The Concept Plan for the greenway, completed in May 2013, is the culmination of efforts of municipal representatives and stakeholders. It establishes a vision for the Brandywine River that is embraced by the twenty-five participating municipalities. The Concept Map highlights a Major Corridor that is both land- and water-based, is generally linear, and varies in width depending upon its locational context. The Major Corridor serves to link various components of the greenway that include six Hubs that are primary destination points with multiple functions; eight Destination Points that feature public events or special functions; 18 Gateways that offer orientation portals to the greenway; 26 river access points; and 230 miles of existing and planned trails.
The Strategic Action Plan, completed in 2014, delineates specific projects to implement within each municipality, outlines entities responsible for each project, and estimates funding required to complete each project. The Plan is intended to inspire residents, businesses, volunteers, and others to become involved in planning the future of our communities and our natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
During 2018 the Brandywine Conservancy partnered with Delaware Greenways to expand the Greenway into New Castle County and the City of Wilmington in Delaware. Partners in this effort include the City of Wilmington, New Castle County, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, Delaware Nature Society, WILMAPCO, DelDOT, DNREC, US National Park Service, and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. A Concept Plan and Strategic Action Plan for the Delaware study area will be completed by December 2019.
The Brandywine Conservancy and it partners continue to implement the Strategic Action Plan in Pennsylvania. Many municipalities have successfully completed important Greenway initiatives: farms are being preserved; new riparian buffer forests are being planted; local and regional trails are being planned. Visit this website often for news and updates on Greenway initiatives in your community.
For information, contact Elena Hadley at [email protected] or 610.388.8396.