Land Preservation Story

Mark Ludak_Marion Farms
Photograph by Mark Ludak_Marion Farms

A Citizen's Mandate

What makes Solebury such a special place to live?

Blessed with abundant natural resources and historic areas, the community has evolved into a harmonious mix of small farms, estate lots, comfortable homes, open space and a passion for the conservation and preservation of treasured resources.

While the beauty and uniqueness of Bucks County has lead many townships to permit rampant development, Solebury embraced land preservation, (the elimination of development potential through a donated or purchased easement) as an effective way to limit development, sustain natural resources (including water, open space, and historic features), and help control rising taxes and demands on infrastructure.

Solebury's citizens have always had a strong commitment to preserving open space.

In 1987, the Land Use Committee (now the Land Preservation Committee) was formed to involve the Township pro-actively in preservation. Adopting goals to preserve and protect the community's rural character and to sustain agriculture as economically viable, the Township, with Solebury residents' enthusiastic support, initiated its own very successful preservation program:

  • In 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2019, residents overwhelmingly agreed to fund preservation by $56 million, approving referendums by an average of 90%. To date, 3,868 acres have been protected by the Township Land Preservation Program. Additionally, the Heritage Conservancy has protected 984 acres, Natural Lands Trust 990 acres, and the Township, State, and County have 849 acres in protected parks and open space.
  • Of the 17,376 acres in Solebury, 6,691acres - 38.5% percent of Township land - enjoy some protection from further development. As a result, Solebury is a national leader in the land preservation.

Individuals and groups with a vision for preserving natural features and benefits to the public have protected public properties like:

  • Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve
  • The Washington Crossing and Delaware Canal State Parks
  • The Bucks County Audubon Center at Honey Hollow
  • Many other scenic properties are protected and remain privately owned. One significant example is the Aquetong Valley Preserve, where landowners banded together and donated easements to protect over 900 acres from further development.