Hopewell Big Woods


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The last large forest left in southeastern Pennsylvania, Hopewell Big Woods is one of the most important natural habitat areas in this region. With hundreds of plant and bird species, pristine forest, unique swamps, and high value streams, Hopewell Big Woods is an exceptional resource. This conservation area, which encircles French Creek State Park and the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, is also greatly valued as an asset for public recreation. An expanse of over 100 square miles of unfragmented open space, Hopewell Big Woods is a rarity in our landscape and highly vulnerable to imminent development threats.

Public-private partnerships have been forged to work toward keeping Hopewell intact and unspoiled. This coalition of partners has already begun the work of defining common purpose and direction. Leadership attention is focused on how to advance the existing partnerships and programs, and develop winning strategies for future action. An action plan for securing key lands to preserve ecological values and protect the integrity of place is a top priority. Another near-term objective is establishing a Big Woods Commission so as to create an institutional structure for sustainable conservation leadership in the years to come. KCT is working with the leadership of the Hopewell Big Woods Partnership much as one would work with a business start-up, refining the vision, mission, and goals, aligning the organizational structure with the mission, working toward a program for carrying out the protection effort, and ensuring that the essential strategic underpinnings for effective conservation action are in place.