North Coventry Township’s Coventry Woods Preserve has grown steadily since the first property was purchased in the 1960s. The preserve is located at the eastern edge of the Hopewell Big Woods landscape, which includes 15,000 contiguous acres of forest recognized as the only viable example of high-quality forest block in southeastern Pennsylvania. Its lush resources have served the township well, inspiring a culture of outdoor recreation that draws visitors from around the region.
In 2002 North Coventry Township passed a referendum by an overwhelming 77% vote to include a marginal open space fee in the annual earned income tax. With the assistance of Natural Lands and Chester County, the Township developed a strategic plan for preservation objectives and revised its ordinances to implement a Conservation by Design approach. These steps were instrumental in providing matching funds for several key Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2) grants—funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund—and grants from the Chester County Municipal Grant Program.
In 2009, C2P2 funded two acquisitions which added approximately 208 acres to the current preserve. The first of these, known as the Bentley acquisition, added 115 acres (25 agricultural acres and 95 acres of forest on both sides of Rock Run, a tributary of French Creek). It is located off Jones Road in North Coventry, South Coventry, and Warwick Townships, and is available for passive recreation, open space, and stream protection. The second purchase, the Hill School parcel, added 93 acres along Camp Hill Road at Rock Run in North Coventry and Warwick townships for habitat and stream protection.
In 2007, DCNR provided North Coventry Township half of the funding needed to purchase a 53-acre parcel just off Jones Road. The property, known as the Baker acquisition, contains mature woodlands and supports diverse habitat for a variety of birds and mammals. An old logging road creates an accessible footpath with minimal disturbance to the landscape, and several hiking trails have since been added.