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Wildflower Preserve's Master Plan Debuts

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve was established in 1934 by conservation-minded individuals who wanted to create a sanctuary for Pennsylvania native plants on an extraordinarily beautiful wooded site located just south of New Hope on River Road. They envisioned nature trails winding through wildflowers where visitors could enjoy the natural splendor year-round.

Since its beginnings in the minds and hearts of wildflower enthusiasts, the Preserve has emerged as a vibrant and dynamic institution, firmly focused on its mission: to lead people to a greater appreciation of native plants, to an understanding of their importance to all life, and to a commitment to the preservation of a healthy and diverse natural world. The Preserve’s status as a botanic garden as well as an accredited museum (just as a museum collection might be made up of paintings, the Preserve’s collection is a living one made up of native plants) provides a framework for the achievement of this mission.

Most recently, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve’s Planning Committee has worked steadily to create an exciting and innovative Master Plan for the Preserve. The planning process was driven by thorough, thoughtful consideration of how the assets of Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, comprised of 134 acres, can be used most effectively to engage the public in a better understanding of the living world. Created with the assistance of Andropogon Associates, Ltd., an internationally acclaimed landscape architecture and ecological planning and design firm in Philadelphia, the master plan outlines a course of action and direction for the Preserve over the next 25 years.

Many different aspects of the Preserve, such as educational programs, land management, research, visitor services, facilities maintenance, and staffing and volunteer needs, have been brought together in the Plan to produce one unified vision. The Plan addresses current and anticipated program and visitor needs, which in turn drive the vision of how the property will evolve over time. In short, elements of the Plan are highly complementary, both with each other and with all components of the existing Preserve.

All this has been accomplished while remaining sensitive to the unique and delicate ecological and historic nature of the site. The centerpiece of the Plan is a rendering of the proposed new Visitor Center that incorporates “green technology” – an idea that is central to the mission of the Preserve. The most exciting challenge has been envisioning a new building that is environmentally friendly and reflects the beauty of the local landscape, and yet remains true to the historic architectural character of the region.

A reconfigured trail system will provide opportunities for gentle walks of varying lengths as well as more challenging paths, all laid out to enable visitors to experience and learn about the rich diversity of habitats and native plants at the Preserve.

When fully accomplished, the Plan will elevate to a new level the beneficial value to the public of Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. In the future visitors will encounter a variety and quality of experiences in nature that are unavailable elsewhere. Drawings of the Master Plan are on exhibit in the Preserve’s Visitor Center.

The Preserve will be embarking on a capital campaign to raise funds toward implementation of the Master Plan. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization managed by Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve Association Inc., in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, the Preserve is supported exclusively by memberships, admission and program fees, donations and grants. Annual membership levels are Senior (62+) and Student $15, Individual $25, Family $40, Organization $45, Benefactor $100, Patron $500, and Sustaining $1000.

Right now, you can visit the Preserve and experience the beauty of this peaceful, natural treasure, located just a stone’s throw from the bustling activity of New Hope. There’s so much to discover every day of the year!

The Preserve is open daily year-round (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years days). The Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the grounds from 8:30 a.m. to sunset. The admission fee for non-members is: Adults -$5, Seniors (62+) & fulltime students (with ID) -$3, Children 4 through 14 -$2. Under 4 -Free. Preserve members are admitted free.

Upon arrival, stop in the Visitor Center to pay admission, get a free trail map and bloom guide, and find out about upcoming programs for adults and children. Indoors, you can enjoy the bird observatory, a small museum of mounted birds, nests and eggs, a library, exhibits, and free information sheets about gardening with native plants. In the Twinleaf Shop, an outstanding selection of nature-themed books and t-shirts, as well as seeds of native plants, are available for purchase.

Outdoors, check out the Visitor Center display garden and the selection of plants offered for sale during the growing season--all are nursery-propagated, none are wild-collected.

Take a walk through the woods, along Pidcock Creek and near the pond.

Come discover Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve and be naturally inspired!

BOWMAN’S HILL WILDFLOWER PRESERVE VITAL STATISTICS

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Location: 1635 River Road 2 1/2 miles south of New Hope, PA

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Mailing Address: P. O. Box 685, New Hope, PA 18938

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Telephone: (215) 862-2924

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Website: www.bhwp.org

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e-mail: bhwp@bhwp.org

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Hours: Open daily year-round (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years days). The Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the grounds from 8:30 a.m. to sunset.

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Admission: Adults $5, Seniors & Students $3, Children 4-14 $2. Under 4 free.

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