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49 Acres of Land at Friends Hospital Now Permanently Protected

Sep 6, 2018

Philadelphia, PA, September 6, 2018 – Forty-nine acres of the Friends Hospital campus have been placed under conservation easement with Natural Lands, permanently protecting it from development. Preservation of this landscape safeguards historic greenspace and the scenic views from nearby Tacony Creek Park. The easement also formalizes public access to the property’s woodlands, which the Tacony Creek Trail traverses.

Founded in 1813, Friends Hospital is one of America’s oldest hospitals and the first private non-profit institution of its kind in the country. Located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, Friends Hospital is made up of historic buildings, lawns, gardens, and a forest through which Tacony Creek meanders. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 1999.

“Urban green space is essential for the health and well-being of city residents, which makes the permanent protection of Friends Hospital’s campus all the more significant,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands.

Joe Pyle, president of the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, added, “The Foundation is thrilled to place the property under conservation easement with Natural Lands. We are committed to being good stewards of the land and honoring our Quaker roots by using the property to promote healing and recovery for all.”

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization, such as Natural Lands, that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Conservation easements must provide public benefits, such as scenic views, water quality, wildlife habitat, and historic preservation.

Funding for this project came from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority with funds from the Marcellus Legacy Fund; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund; Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation; and the William Penn Foundation. Support for the ongoing stewardship of the easement including annual monitoring of the property was provided by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation.

Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 43 nature preserves totaling more than 23,000 acres. Some 2.5 million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all.

The Scattergood Foundation believes major disruption is needed to build a stronger, more effective compassionate, and inclusive health care system- one that improves well-being and quality of life as much as it treats illness and disease. At the Foundation, we THINK, DO, and SUPPORT in order to establish a new paradigm for behavioral health, which recognizes the core Quaker belief that there is a unique spark and basic dignity in every human.

Media Inquiries:

Mae Axelrod, Media Relations Manager
Natural Lands
610-353-5587 ext. 400