Friday, December 26, 2014

Dedication for Montco preserve is set for Thursday

ORELAND Conservationists and public officials are holding a dedication Thursday for a new 33-acre Piszek Preserve in Upper Dublin and Springfield Townships.

Before his death in 2004, philanthropist Edward Piszek, co-founder of Mrs. Paul's frozen foods, donated 33 acres of his family's 92-acre property to the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association.

Since then, the association and the Montgomery County Lands Trust have been working to finalize the transfer and create a long-term plan for the property.

As a nature preserve, the land can never be developed and will be open to the public. Informal hiking trails will open this week.

Upper Dublin and Springfield Townships, as well as Montgomery County, have contributed funds toward building trails and stewarding the land.

The property's woodlands and meadows are bisected by Sandy Run Creek, a tributary of Wissahickon Creek. Proponents say this preservation will protect Sandy Run from pollution and preserve a riparian buffer to alleviate flooding.

Adjacent to the preserve is the Emlen House, a stone Colonial that served as Gen. George Washington's headquarters in the winter of 1777.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, in the yard of the Emlen House, at Pennsylvania Avenue and Camp Hill Road in Oreland.

- Jessica Parks

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