PENN—Penn Township has opened the E. Neal Dockstader Center for Environmental Education. The project includes a 4.6-acre environmental center and outdoor classroom with adjacent nature and meadow trails. The Environmental Education Center is part of a 43-acre conservation project located at the intersection of Routes 1 and 976 in Penn Township.

The environmental education center has an area to plant and maintain 100 native species of trees and shrubs, donated by Star Roses. In addition, area Eagle Scouts are cooperative partners in the construction and maintenance of landing tables and related facilities.

The Avon Grove Library has also partnered with the township to develop a monthly Story Walk series that features nature-based play and learning activities. Story Walk topics include dinosaurs and fossils, butterflies, wildlife, stormwater, Chesapeake Bay watershed protection, nature, trees, native species, local lore and history, including Native American.

Additional scheduled programs include Green Fun Days, held twice a month from April through October. An environmental education area and trails will also be available for schools and other educational groups.

Additional plans for the conservation area include a sports park to promote fitness for all ages. Other funding sources for the overall project include Penn Township, Chester County Open Space and the PA DNCR Land and Conservation Fund.

The Dockstader Foundation supports educational, charitable and scientific activities that improve and optimize the natural environment in south Chester. The Dockstader Foundation actively promotes environmental activities in the municipalities of South Chester County served by SECCRA (Southeast Chester County Waste Management Authority). The Dockstader Foundation is named after E. Neill Dockstader, former SECCRA chairman, who created the plan that established a public landfill in London Grove Township in 1986. Since its inception, SECCRA has provided landfill and full-service recycling services to more than ninety thousand residents.