Executive Director, Lower Merion Conservancy
Since taking over as executive director of the Lower Merion Conservancy, Maurine McGeehan has overseen the acquisition of 85 acres of land for preservation, 42 of which came from the hotly contested Stoneleigh estate in Villanova. The conservancy now holds the easement for the property. “Stoneleigh has been one of the biggest challenges for the conservancy in the last couple of months,” McGeehan says.
The conservancy has also worked with Natural Lands to change legislation, making it more difficult for eminent domain to take conserved acreage. “To preserve 85 acres in the last three years is significant for us in a very densely developed community like Lower Merion,” says McGeehan.
Water quality has also been a priority for McGeehan’s team. The conservancy has partnered with the William Penn Foundation and the Delaware River Watershed Initiative in their efforts to keep water sources clean. “We’ve really stepped up our efforts, working with the residents on an individual basis to get them to understand what they can do on their properties and in their lives to improve water quality,” she says. “Human beings are so interconnected—it’s just so personal.”