Colonial history and architecture combine with a lush natural landscape to make the Rogers-Hiester property one of the most significant conservation acquisitions in the history of Montgomery County.
For three decades, Montgomery County Parks and Heritage Services had ranked the 78-acre property as a high priority for land conservation. The property contains prime agricultural soils, wildlife-rich woodland habitat, and the confluence of Montgomery County’s only two high-quality streams, Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek.
The property is the former home of Daniel Hiester, a Revolutionary War colonel and statesman. The acquisition of the property enables the restoration of Hiester’s 1757 Georgian-style home.
The Keystone Fund served an essential role in the purchase of the property from the Rogers family, which had owned it since 1930. Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT) completed the $1.6 million acquisition following a 30-month fundraising campaign. While a wide variety of public and private donors contributed to the effort, the Keystone Fund was the first confirmed major contributor, and it helped convince other funders to step forward, ultimately enabling MCLT to achieve its funding goals.
MCLT subsequently reconveyed the property to Upper Salford Township to establish it as a public park complete with hiking trails that connect to adjacent open space.
“If not for the Keystone funding commitment, this project would never have been able to get out of the starting gate,” said Jake Lea of MCLT. “Keystone provided leverage, incentive, and excitement for the momentous effort.”