Support Your Local Environmental Groups

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

When was the last time you drove over a bridge and appreciated a pretty stream below?  Or walked down a trail through quiet woods? Or stopped to watch a fox trotting through a meadow?

If you have done any of these things recently, there is a good chance that you can thank your local environmental organization for the opportunity and the privilege.  So much of our land is now fragmented into small parcels and under environmental pressure from development that the importance of protecting land at the local level is growing exponentially.  Sure, we should be concerned about the tropical rain forests, but we should also be concerned about Crum Creek.  We should do what we can to protect polar ice caps while we are still protecting Mineral Hill.


Banding a Wood Thrush

Joe N. holding a Wood Thrush at the bird banding at Willistown Conservation Trust

The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to get involved that are both fun and rewarding.  Spending time volunteering for a stream clean-up with the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association connects you with your neighbors while keeping our drinking water clean and healthy.   You can also get your hands dirty and learn vegetable gardening at Rushton Farm by volunteering for Willistown Conservation Trust which preserves open space in Willistown Township.  While you are there, ask about the many bird banding opportunities throughout the year.

And for the truly dedicated, you can become a Force of Nature with Natural Lands Trust while learning land management and restoration.  Planting trees and clearing trails are only some of the skills you will learn during the in-depth volunteer training. Natural Lands Trust is the largest conservation organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, so make sure to take advantage of their many trails and preserves as you get involved.

Join or Donate

If you are one of the many people today who can’t find the time to volunteer as much as you would like, consider membership or donating to these organizations.  You will be able to stay abreast of educational and social events that may fit into your busy schedule while supporting the organization financially.


Most environmental organizations also have a large educational component, and you may learn something at one of the many lectures or programs offered that you can apply to your own property.


In addition to benefiting the environment, supporting your local environmental organization is good for the local economy, keeping property values up, while increasing recreational opportunities.  Areas with open space tend to be lower in crime and children with access to open space do better at school.  In short, protecting our local environment is a really good investment.

So if you are looking to get involved, need some exercise, want to meet great people, learn something new and useful, or if you just want to do something you can feel good about, I’ve got a great idea for you… Support your local environmental organization!


Support one of these great organizations:

Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association

Natural Lands Trust

Willistown Conservation Trust

Or support the one closest to you!