PHILADELPHIA, September 8, 2021 –The Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County (RADC) today announced its partnership with Natural Lands, the region’s oldest and largest land conservation non-profit organization. The partnership is a component of the ongoing implementation of the Chester Waterfront Master Plan, a framework to direct the redevelopment of the city, connect it to the riverfront and establish Chester as a regional destination to stay and live for residents, businesses and visitors. The development of the plan began in September 2019 through a partnership with national architectural design firm NBBJ.
Natural Lands has been engaged to help activate the waterfront by designing green stormwater infrastructure and other streetscape improvements with an emphasis on incorporating plantings that reflect the natural environment of the riverfront. They have also assisted with designing improvements to the Barry Bridge Park to encourage greater community usage. Future goals for the partnership include working together on landscape and green stormwater infrastructure design for the Chester Waterfront Trail on West Second Street (Route 291) from Highland Avenue to Norris Street. The work has been funded by multiple grants awarded to RADC with consultation and assistance from Natural Lands including, William Penn Foundation and Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.
“In addition to the structural work, our broader goal is to listen to and engage with the community to understand how residents can better connect with nature in recreational, educational and health-oriented ways,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “We are also excited to support RADC in boosting Chester’s economy by providing stewardship training for landscape management and engaging residents in civic art projects along the waterfront.”
Natural Lands is dedicated to saving open space, caring for nature, and connecting people to the outdoors for nearly 70 years. The organization currently owns and manages 42 nature preserves and one public garden across the region, totaling more than 23,000 acres. They hold conservation easements on an additional 23,000 acres of land that will never be developed.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with an organization whose goal is to not only improve a community through environmental preservation efforts but to do so by engaging with the community to better understand their wants and needs,” said Lisa Gaffney, executive director of RADC. “We look forward to working with them on many projects in the future that are rooted in preservation and creation of public open spaces.”
About The Riverfront Alliance Delaware County (RADC)
RADC is a consortium of private sector corporations and nonprofit institutions that have come together to develop and implement programs and activities that serve as the catalyst for the physical, economic, and social development of the Delaware County waterfront. Originally established in 1996, The Institute for Economic Development, Inc. (IED) serves as an engine for economic and social development.
About Natural Lands
Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands—which is member supported—has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves and one public garden totaling more than 23,000 acres. Nearly five million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all. natlands.org.