More than 37% of Upper Makefield Township’s land, 5,000 acres, has been permanently preserved. Officials are watchful for opportunities to preserve more land, as it becomes available, and when it fits the criteria described below.
Since the mid 1990s, Upper Makefield Township has anticipated and funded preservation opportunities, such as easements, farmland preservation, and preservation of our most scenic viewsheds. Since 1996, residents have approved 3 separate referenda to borrow a total of $31 million for open space preservation.
Two Grant Programs for Residents
In addition, residents may apply to the Township for grant funding for general Riparian Restoration work and to plant more trees, with deer fencing, on their private properties.
Purchases and easements are approved by the Board of Supervisors. These decisions fit the following preservation priorities, according to a 2009 Open Space Plan Update developed in collaboration with The Heritage Conservancy.
Upper Makefield does not have public water and most sewage treatment is by on-lot systems, so protecting lands surrounding reservoirs, streams, and aquifer recharge areas are a high priority. Also of high priority is protecting lands that provide flood control and surface filtration. Here’s a map of Upper Makefield’s watershed system.
Establish Greenway Corridors
Greenways provide for recreational activities such as hiking, biking, walking, and boating. In addition, wildlife use greenway corridors for migration, and plant species require varied connecting environments to survive and regenerate. To establish these corridors, the Environmental Advisory Council places priority on preserving adjacent lands and encouraging preservation of corridors that link new residential subdivisions and nearby open spaces.
Upper Makefield is a desirable place to live, which has put increasing pressure on farmers to sell for development. Working with the Bucks County Farmland Preservation program and Heritage Conservancy helps preserve farmland. Preserving large tracts of farmland will ensure agriculture sustainability in the township and maintain adequate groundwater recharge.
Enhance Biological Diversity
Following the priorities set in the Natural Area Inventory of Bucks County, Upper Makefield continues to consider preservation of biodiversity. In addition to specifically identified sites, the EAC aims to protect the transition areas between ecosystems and to provide a buffer around sensitive natural areas.
Protect Significant Viewsheds
Upper Makefield’s scenic beauty is a sign of a healthy environment and is important to the community’s quality of life. As such, maintaining the Township vistas and scenic viewsheds are also considered a priority.
Establish Recreational Open Space
Athletic fields to play on, mountain paths to hike and bike, and streams to fish from are just a few of the recreational opportunities provided to Township residents through the preservation of recreational open space.