John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan
Mill Grove is the historic home of artist naturalist John James Audubon, and the site of a 175-acre bird sanctuary. Located along Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River and designated a historic place on the National Register, the ecologically rich site serves as a true living memorial to the achievements of an American legend. In 2005, as the Center was planning to move forward with plans for a new museum, they wanted to refine a previously crafted, heritage-driven master plan to incorporate a greater focus on Audubon’s conservation mission.
To help the Center refine its vision to include ecology, Biohabitats, a key member of a team led by Wallace, Roberts & Todd, helped prepare a site and natural resources management plan that addressed the ecological, heritage, recreational, and educational aspects of Mill Grove. We began by participating in interviews, meetings, and presentations with the Center’s staff, board, stakeholders, and community members. Biohabitats provided field reconnaissance surveys to identify and document the natural resources and ecological processes occurring within the site. Biohabitats also identified and mapped the opportunities and constraints associated with improvements, conservation initiatives, and educational opportunities related to the site’s ecology.
The team also provided guidance pertaining to the land use plan, overall site circulation, visual amenities, educational space siting, and trail integration. This included the development of strategies for trail improvements, landscape management, and habitat initiatives, including adaptive management techniques, restoration approaches, conservation initiatives, along with regenerative site design strategies.
Biohabitats provided final documentation including methodology, results of data collection, technical surveys, opportunities, and constraints alternatives in addition to the master plan recommendations.