The Laurels Preserve – A Rich Resource For Enjoyment
Donated to the Brandywine Conservancy in 1985, the Laurels Preserve is an important ecological and historic resource within one of the Brandywine Valley’s most critical watersheds. A dedicated staff of managers, supported by a handful of volunteers, have done excellent work in maintaining the property despite a minimal budget. This is no small task, as there are more than ten miles of maintained trails that are prone to washouts and tree falls, a relentless army of invasives to be removed, grasslands to manage, and structures such as fences and historic bridges to keep up. Over time, underfunding has resulted in postponement of many but the most pressing issues in the Laurels.
The Brandywine Conservancy proposes a new way of thinking about the Laurels, to ensure funding of day-to-day maintenance, while also providing for the projects that will create safe, long-lasting solutions to both conservation and recreational dilemmas. To that end, we are proud to announce Protecting Our Place: A Campaign for the Laurels Preserve, which has three primary goals:
Restoring the balance between preservation and recreation
Establishing the Laurels Sustaining Fund
Establishing the Friends of the Laurels Fund
When combined all three priority areas equal a total fundraising goal of $279,200, of which $117,830 has been raised in gifts and pledges to date.
Restore The Balance Between Preservation And Recreation
The initial list of capital improvement projects includes:
- Widening trails to 8 feet throughout, and improving drainage to prevent washouts
- Repair Culverts
- Restoration of the middle crossing
- Stabilizing two fords, one below the first bridge, and one near the Jenny’s or eastern end of the park
- Investigate the addition of “hopping stones” at the stream crossings
- The creation of clear trail “loops” with signage
- Upgrades to make the Preserve more welcoming and provide for nature-based education
The Laurels Reserve Fund – A Dedicated Repair And Maintenance Reserve
The list of planned capital improvements will provide for significant upgrades long requested by the community; however, they only scratch the surface of what needs to be done or could be done to further improve usage of the Laurels. The Brandywine Conservancy is establishing the Laurels Preserve Reserve Fund. To be held in a restricted reserve account, the Reserve Fund will enable improved management of the planned and unplanned projects the Laurels requires.
Friends Of The Laurels Fund - Annual Operating Deficit Support
We invite you to join us as a Friend of the Laurels, gifts to this fund will be allocated towards the general operations of the Preserve and will be spent down annually.
The Need For Funding
When you consider what an amazing resource the Laurels Preserve is in your life, and how lucky we all are to have it in our midst, we hope you will consider a gift in support of these much-needed upgrades and longer-term goals. Please contact either Ellen Ferretti (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kim Reynolds (email@example.com) with any questions.
Now is the time to invest in an exciting new future for this magical place we all cherish…. THANK YOU!