Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The Chester County Parks and Preservation Department employs an active rather than passive means of conservation of natural resources in an effort to provide sustainable and diverse resources for future generations. The natural processes in this region have been significantly altered over time by human intervention and activities. The notion of “letting nature take its course” is an inactive approach that will; in most cases, yield ecosystems that become degraded and not fully functional. Some of the activities that support the conservation of natural resources in the parks and open space include managing the population of white-tailed deer, the control of native and alien invasive plants, the reduction of forest fragmentation by employing sound silvicultural practices on interior forests, establishing native grass and wildflower meadows, planting of native shrubs, trees and flowers. These activities are practiced in conjunction with providing recreation opportunities and services to the public to enjoy the parks and trails in a safe manner.
Cultural resources are evidence of past human activity and while non-renewable these resources often yield unique information about historical human practices and about created environments. Cultural history can provide insight and at times answers for modern day conservation challenges. Preservation of endemic cultural resources found in Chester County Parks is also a stewardship responsibility of the Parks and Preservation Department. The term responsibility is part defined by the conservation and preservation practices that best ensure that the natural and cultural resources are sustained for future generations.