Chester County, Pennsylvania
County of Chester
313 W. Market St.
P.O. Box 2748
West Chester, PA 19380-0991
Ph: (610) 344-6000
Toll Free: 1 (800) 692-1100

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Black Rock Sanctuary
953 Black Rock Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460 · 610-469-1916
Located about 1 mile north of Phoenixville on Route 113 between Riverwalk Drive and Winding River Boulevard. Correspondences should be directed to Warwick County Park.

Whats Happening at Black Rock?

Join us for morning bird walks to explore the meadows and wetlands of this unique site along the Atlantic Flyway. Learn about our fine-feathered friends that inhabit the natural areas, and those who just stop by for a seasonal visit. Learn techniques used to identify birds such as birding by color, shape, song and habitat.

  • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • May 3
  • July 12

AMERICAN KESTRELS: The Decline in Southeastern PA
Valley Forge Audubon Society (VFAS) has teamed up with National Audubon and the Peregrine Fund to reverse a disturbing trend that shows American Kestrels have declined 88% in the North East and Mid-Atlantic states. Since 1990, VFAS has worked to reverse this trend by establishing an American Kestrel Box Trail. Learn the natural history of American Kestrels, and Black Rock’s attempt to have these wonderful falcons nest.
  • Saturday, April 12
  • 11 AM - 12 Noon

For both programs, please call Warwick County Park at 610-469-1916 to register.

See complete program listing for what's happening in all the Chester County Parks!

The Park
Butterfly Garden
Consisting of 119 acres of wetlands, woodlands and meadows, Black Rock Sanctuary is dedicated to wildlife habitat and public use. One of many desilting basins found along the Schuylkill River in Berks, Montgomery, Chester and Philadelphia Counties, the Sanctuary offers a wonderful opportunity to relax and discover the history, geology, wildlife, plant life and habitats of the basin.

The sky over Black Rock is a flyway, or air highway, for birds that migrate up and down the East Coast. Observe your surroundings to appreciate the wetlands, which attract waterfowl and provide for other plants and animals.

Fish passages assist the upstream migration of American shad during their springtime spawning run up the Schuylkill River, which has been hindered since the dams were built in the early 19th Century. The fish passage facility was constructed at the Black Rock Dam by Exelon Generation, LLC.

Education Station

At the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) Conference on March 22, 2011, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) honored Chester County Parks Department with the 2nd Annual DCNR/ PRPS Green Park Award to recognize excellence in the integration of green and sustainable park practices at Black Rock Sanctuary.

Characteristics of a Green Park include:

  • Sustainable Site Principles (eg., topsoil retention)
  • Natural Landscaping Principles (native plants, meadows)
  • Connecting People to Nature
  • Managing Stormwater Naturally (ie., Best Management Practices)
  • Conserve Energy/ Integrate Green Design and Construction Practices (eg., use of recycled materials)

Interpretive Trail
Interpretive Trail

In order to savor and enjoy the rich, natural wonders that Black Rock Sanctuary has to offer, we encourage you to hike the 0.80 mile, ADA-accessible interpretive trail.

Along the trail you will see wetlands that provide habitat for mammals, reptiles, amphibians and migratory birds. Seasonal changes affect water levels, plants and wildlife, so be sure to return often to see how nature varies throughout the year.

Learn about establishing a native meadow from a case study on the Sanctuary.

Funding Partners

This public site is provided in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation with Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Funds, and Federal Land & Water Conservation Funds.

Funding Partners
  • Chester County Board of Commissioners
  • PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
  • PA Department of Environmental Protection
  • The William Penn Foundation
  • U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
  • United States Fish & Wildlife Service

Chester County
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