The Importance of Flint Woods Preserve and the Power of Land Donation

Flint Woods Stream
Adults hiking at Flint Woods Preserve

Delaware Nature Society owns and runs Flint Woods Preserve, the largest remaining old growth hardwood forest in Delaware. It’s beauty and importance, and the power of land donation, is celebrated in the recent article “The Flint Woods Preserve: Delaware’s Deep Forest” by Richard L. Gaw of Greenville & Hockessin Life Magazine.

Gaw introduces the preserve poetically:

“Within the first few minutes of entering the 37 acres of the Flint Woods Preserve that is owned and cared for by The Delaware Nature Society, its purest definition unfurls itself in the form of nature’s glorious and welcome quietude, punctuated only by the chorus of bird songs from the Louisiana Water Thrush, the Scarlet Tanager and the Wood Thrush.

“Within these first few minutes, this swath of discovery becomes a spiritual bathing and an enveloping walk through tranquility, where sunlight permeates the canopy of massive oak, tulip, hickory and American beech trees — some of which date back more than 150 years.

“Long identified as the largest remaining old growth hardwood forest in Delaware, the Flint Woods Preserve in Centreville is adjacent to more than 100 additional acres of private and public land that provides critical woodland habitat for birds and is a popular stopover area for a wide variety of Neotropical birds and home to woodland plants and a restored meadow that all contribute to a valuable natural ecosystem.”

Joe Sebastiani, Director of Adult Engagement at Delaware Nature Society, added his expertise about the importance of large, old forests to the article, sharing:

“There are many trees in this forest that have been preserved in here for a long time, and the larger a forest is, the more important it becomes…birds and plants who depend on interior forests to survive find a lot of space that they need in the middle of the forest and not just at the edge of a forest.

“This is a place where nature is allowed to take its own course, and is completely left alone in order to do so.”

He goes on to share the contributions of the Flint family who helped make this forest so biodiverse and preserved it through land donation:

“The important thing to know is that this is the Flint family’s land,” Sebastiani said. “It is land that they themselves have managed in order to create a biodiverse habitat that includes preserving a pristine meadow and forest, placing some of their property under conservation easements and gifting 37 acres to the Delaware.

“If you look at a map of where the forests exist in northern Delaware, the biggest blocks are the Brandywine Creek State Park, the Red Clay Valley, the White Clay Creek State park and the Flint Woods Preserve. For one family to play such a huge part in preserving this land has been a benefit to everyone.”

Read the full article at Greenville and Hockessin Life.

Delaware has lost 50% of its wetlands and 60% of its forested lands. Through land preservation, we are protecting our water, air, and precious wildlife, enhancing the quality of life for our whole community. Through coalition building, advocating for dedicated state funding, and managing 2,000 acres of land statewide, Delaware Nature Society has helped to protect over 100,000 acres.  Through land acquisitions, conservation easements, and deed restrictions, we have protected over 1,200 acres of land. Learn more about how to donate land to help conserve Delaware’s biodiversity, health, and beauty.

Flint Woods Preserve isn’t open to the public. However, it does have an extensive trail that you can see in some of our programs – check out our Activities Calendar to find programs and this and other Delaware Nature Society natural locations.