If you’ve ever looked out at the Susquehanna River from the Pinnacle Overlook or taken a hike though Tucquan Glen, you know how beautiful and special the natural lands of Lancaster County are. However, as Lancaster continues to grow and use more and more land for development, our local woods and water are at risk. Here are six reasons why you should support the Conservancy during the Extraordinary Give and what your gift will help accomplish.
- Support the Mission
To save and steward the ecosystems and landscapes upon which we depend for food, clean water and air, economic and public health, and the restoration of soul and spirit.
Your gift allows us to operate our four key programs that are designed to make this mission a reality.
- Land Acquisition
The population of our region is growing; this is inevitable as who would not want to live here? What we have is special from the Welsh mountains, through the highlands, down the Susquehanna River corridor and up the Octoraro. However, growth requires thought, because with more people come more stores, houses, businesses, hospitals – more of everything but land. We are the only land trust in Central PA that focuses exclusively on preserving wild lands, but we are quite simply running out of time. Trees take a lifetime to grow and an hour to cut down.
Last year, the Conservancy established 4 new preserves and protected 598 acres in Lancaster and York Counties, bringing total acres owned to 5,208 and total acres protected to 6,124. Land protection today leaves a legacy for generations, ensuring that tomorrow’s children will have the opportunity to experience the forests we enjoy today.
The Conservancy needs your support to continue acquiring land to preserve the past, sustain the present, and provide for the future.
The Stewardship Program manages thousands acres of public lands and hundreds acres of conservation easements. From the Susquehanna Riverlands to the Pennsylvania Highlands, from the Welsh Mountains to the Serpentine Barrens, at any given moment, Stewardship is on the ground across Lancaster County and beyond.
At a recent stewardship workshop, ninety participants learned regenerative agroforestry techniques that are applicable to farmscapes, homesteads, and other private residences. Earlier this year, the Stewardship Program invested into equipment for the first time in over 7 years. With our new dump truck, trailer, and 60 horsepower tractor, we can more effectively implement management plans and respond to the immediate needs of our most popular preserves. This new equipment will also help us launch and maintain the two new preserves we expect to open in spring 2018.
Your support helps the Conservancy maintain our natural lands for the benefit of our native plants, wildlife, local ecosystems, and the general public.
- Urban Greening
The Lancaster County Conservancy’s Urban Greening program has partnered with the City of Lancaster since 2010 on education and implementation of clean water initiatives such as rain gardens, and tree plantings. Trees continue to be a priority as the Conservancy helps lead the Lancaster Tree Tenders in identifying funding and opportunities to plant trees on streets, in yards and along the Conestoga River.
In 2017, Urban Greening launched Lancaster Water Week, a campaign that addresses clean water issues county-wide with a focus on educating local residents about the 1,500 stream miles in Lancaster. With nearly 50% of the these streams impaired or polluted, Water Week mobilizes local citizens toward action with programming and a Water Week grant program that distributed $30,000 in 2017, with a goal of distributing $50,000 in 2018. Last year, nearly 1,400 people participated in Water Week, resulting in 2 tons of refuse being removed from the Conestoga River, 800 native trees planted along Mill Creek, and 375 native trees being distributed to local residents for planting.
When you donate to the Conservancy during the Extraordinary Give, you help ensure that everyone in Lancaster County has access to clean water.
The Conservancy’s Education Program provides meaningful ways for any age to connect with nature. Whether it’s leading the public on a nature hike to Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve, exploring a new property like the Steinman Run/Bunting tract to count its plants and animals, or organizing a youth group to help with a service project on a preserve, there’s tremendous value in spending time outdoors.
Each year the Conservancy engages thousands of people on our preserves and through varied activities: hands-on volunteer activities to steward our lands, hikes led by amazing Master Naturalists, school field trips to engage our youth, university research projects, and a variety of workshops and classes on environmental topics in collaboration with our many partners.
Your donation makes this level of learning and engagement possible – for people of all ages and for future generations to come.
The Conservancy preserves wild lands for public use and benefit, which is why our preserves are open from dawn until dusk every single day of the year. Spending time outdoors can help decrease stress, improve concentration, and regulate circadian rhythms. From hiking to cycling to kayaking, we are committed to helping people get outside and enjoy the natural world.
Give here to protect our woods and water on November 17, then go out and enjoy them!