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News Release

USDA Notifies Delaware County, PA Landowners of Soil Survey Project

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will be conducting field work in Delaware County, PA from May 2020 through fall 2021 to update soil survey data.

During this time, NRCS soil scientists will need access to public and private lands in order to verify soil series and improve soils descriptions. Field work will involve verifying the soils and landscape relationships through observation of local topography and digging and describing soil pits. Most observations will be made with shovels and hand augers, but some data can best be gleaned with backhoe pits. Landowners in areas of interest will be contacted by phone, letter, or indirectly through the Upper Darby Watershed Association or other watershed association contacts to request access permission.

This 3-year project will update major parts of the Delaware County Pennsylvania Soil Survey, including, but not limited to Darby Creek watershed, Ridley Creek State Park, and various townships. This data was last correlated in the 1960’s and has not had significant updates since. Land use has changed, and some soil series concepts need revision. Computer and GIS technologies will allow the soil/landscape relationships to be more accurately delineated than the current soil maps. Moreover, the NRCS soil survey is recognizing the needs of urban users of soil survey data, and some areas that were mapped simply as ‘made land’ or ‘udorthents’ need better data associated with them to assist local users with land use planning.

For more information please contact Ben Marshall, Frederick NRCS Soil Survey Leader, at 92 Thomas Johnson Dr., Frederick, MD 21702, 301-732-8584,; or Yuri Plowden, NRCS State Soil Scientist, 359 East Park Drive, Suite 2, Harrisburg, PA 17111, 717-237-2207,