Partnership preserves Fortner Farm land
Land critical for wildlife habitat and air and water quality near Port Penn is preserved.
A private-public-nonprofit partnership is ensuring 225 acres of Fortner Farm in Southern New Castle County is set aside permanently.
Half of Fortner Farm is a mixed habitat for wildlife, including coastal woodlands, old-growth forest, upland and tidal marshes, rolling fields and swales, and the other half is farmland.
Delaware Wild Lands, New Castle County, and the Mt. Cuba Center are behind the effort that’s expected to protect waterfowl and birds, as well as other mammals, reptiles, insects and fish.
"It provides vital habitat for Delaware's first population of Sandhill cranes as well as a number of other migratory songbirds, waterfowl, and importantly it also will protect and improve water quality for the state of Delaware," said Kate Hackett, Delaware Wild Lands Executive Director.
Delaware Wild Lands will manage the land as part of its 1,300 acre Augustine Creek Complex, and Hackett says the farmland portion of the property will also be preserved and used.
"One important thing about this property is not only its value for wildlife, habitat, and water quality, but we will continue to have agricultural production on this property," said Hackett. "It's important to us to sustain that part of our economy and also for landowners to know that they can still make money off of their property and not sell it for development."
It plans to expand and restore the marsh and upland habitats to improve water quality and species diversity.