Hildacy Farm Preserve
Woodlands meet meadows in a 55-acre preserve
Virtually all that remains of William Penn’s original 1683, 300-acre land grant, the 55-acre Hildacy Farm Preserve is today much like Penn once described it: “The air clean and sweet, the springs plentiful and provisions good and easy to come at; an innumerable quality of water fowl and fish.”
You can walk the woodland trails and find precious trees, including a Willow Oak, a relatively rare species in this region. Or wander through native grass meadows, where you’ll come across several types, including warm season species like Bluestem, Indian grass and Broomsedge. In season, a number of flowering plants, like the goldenrod, asters and black-eyed susans, add a wild dash of vibrant color.
The initial 300-acre land grant was originally prized because of the area’s large oaks and other useful wood. Later, the forests were razed quickly to harvest the timber and make room for agriculture. In 1936, Hilda and Cyril Fox (hence the name Hildacy) bought the property.
As the rest of the surrounding area was developed, the Foxes were determined to keep this land open for wildlife habitat and did so for close to 50 years. In 1981, they donated it to Natural Lands Trust.
Today, research at Hildacy guides efforts to establish native warm-season grasses at this and other preserves owned by Natural Lands Trust.
The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset. Pets must be leashed, no alcoholic beverages are permitted, and neither are motorized vehicles or mountain bikes. Maps and other material are available in the kiosk by the parking area.
A native plant sale on the third Saturday in May
Bluebirds are plentiful here, where native grasslands grow as tall as seven feet high. In spring, the recently established wetland is alive with turtles, wood ducks and red-wing blackbirds
Support Natural Lands Trust
Natural Lands Trust seeks volunteers and members to help protect and care for Hildacy Farm and its other natural areas. Members are invited to dozens of outings each year including canoe trips, bird walks, hikes and much more. Learn more at www.natlands.org.