As one Salford Township, Montgomery County parcel after another changed from farmland to development, John and Clee Williams took steps to ensure a different outcome for the 50 acres of woodlands on which they reside. Thanks to a generous donation made by the Williams’, Environmental Stewardship Fund grants from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and assistance from the Montgomery County Green Fields/Green Towns program, the large forested parcel will remain forever in its natural state.
A walk with the Williams on their property yields interesting details. Maturing oak, poplar, and hickory tees cover what was once farmland and provide refuge for the woodpeckers, thrushes, hawks, and owls. The sturdy bank barn, the oldest structure on the over 250-year-old-farmstead, still stands next to scattered sections of a stone wall that serve as gentle reminders of the past.
When they first moved into their property, the Williams observed that bushy trees and scrubby kinds of native bushes emerged from the meadow, attracting an array of songbirds. The meadow has now given way to the trees where woodpeckers, thrushes, hawks, and owls find their homes.
Located in the hills of Salford Township, the property adjoins the preserved land of Whites Mill Park. The conservation easement adds yet another piece to a growing block of green forestland in the Unami Conservation Area, which now totals more than 2,500 acres of permanently protected land. The Unami Conservation Area is part of a larger four-state Mid-Atlantic Highlands Region designated by the federal government for national recognition and protection.