450-acre Farm Saved in Landmark Conservation Agreement
The 450 acre farm of the late Fitz Eugene Dixon in Montgomery County will now be preserved and agricultural activities able to be continued on it, thanks to a multi-year collaborative effort in which Natural Lands Trust played a central role.
The project, described as one of the most significant conservation transactions in the region’s history, is the result of a collaboration between the Dixon family and Estate, the Whitemarsh Foundation and Natural Lands Trust, as well as state and local government agencies and many private citizens and organizations.
Erdenheim Farm is the centerpiece of 2000 acres of nearly contiguous open space in the Wissahickon Valley between Fairmount Park in Philadelphia and Fort Washington State Park in Whitemarsh. The property, which has been in continuous agricultural use since the days of William Penn, was owned by the Dixon and Widener families after it was acquired by George Widener Jr., in 1912.
Under the plan, 426 acres will be preserved ensuring that the sweeping vistas remain intact. The Whitemarsh Foundation will own 189 acres and Natural Lands Trust, a regional non-profit conservation organization, will purchase conservation easements on 234 acres that will be owned by private individuals.
Photo courtesy of LandConcepts