“Our township is …a good land, a happy land to live in. Let us hope that by care and thought and wise planning, we can keep it so. We would do well to look ahead, where changes lie.”
Clifton Lisle wrote those words in the History of West Pikeland Township in 1966 when there were 1,420 people living in West Pikeland. In 2000, the year that the West Pikeland Land Trust was formed, the population had more than doubled to 3,551. By 2010, that number grew to over 4,000, a threefold increase in just 40 years.
With its abundant natural beauty, West Pikeland is a natural target for developers; but such development comes at a cost for residents in the form of traffic congestion, pollution and destruction of our natural resources. Protecting open space protects our quality of life, avoids more traffic on our roads, conserves our underground water sources, protects our clean streams, and maintains the beautiful rural character of the township.
The West Pikeland Board of Supervisors formed the West Pikeland Land Trust in 1999 to encourage the preservation of township space and to hold easements in trust. Since then, WPLT has worked with local landowners, township officials, county and state governments, and other conservation organizations to preserve open space in West Pikeland.
WPLT has mapped all protected and at-risk township land; initiated a stewardship plan for township-owned properties; sponsored lectures by nationally known authors, city planners, and conservation leaders; and successfully initiated and promoted the township’s first Open Space Preservation tax referendum, making West Pikeland eligible for county, state and possibly federal grants to support open space preservation.
An all-volunteer organization and a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, WPLT’s work is supported primarily through private donations.