Binky Lee Preserve is an 112-acre expanse of former agricultural land that is being converted back to more natural woodlands and meadows. A walk along the trails here provides a wonderful introduction to natural area restoration techniques. The view from atop the hill offers a rare glimpse of Chester County past—undeveloped woodlands and fields in all directions—and reminds us of the importance of saving places like Binky Lee.
The Binky Lee Preserve is an example of the farms which dominated the Chester County landscape in the 18th century. The barn on the property dates to the early 1800’s and, although it has undergone additions and renovations over the years, it retains much of the character and features of the original structure. The property was donated to Natural Lands Trust in 1989 by the Seiple family and remains under our ownership and management. Mary Lee Seiple, the last surviving family member, lived on the preserve until her passing in 2002.
The preserve clearly demonstrates the benefits of active land management and restoration. The former farm fields were largely degraded when Natural Lands Trust took ownership, but through a long-term commitment to improving the landscape, the preserve is now a diverse and healthy habitat. Today the preserve offers a variety of ecological conditions including young floodplain forest, grassy floodplain areas, cool season grassland, warm season grassland, old field succession, pine plantation, mixed hardwood plantation (afforestation area), and mature native woodland dominated by mixed oaks and other hardwoods.
The woodlands in this area are small and relatively isolated so can provide habitat for common suburban/exurban wildlife. The grasslands provide habitat for grassland birds, including Eastern meadowlark, Eastern bluebird, and bobolink. The trails here are marked by interpretive signs explaining the restoration efforts in more detail. We encourage you to read them as you wander the property.
Parking: 1/2 mile southeast of Rt. 113 on Pikeland Road (near Dogwood Lane)