Caring for Nature

Our Goals

Learn about the process, work, and people who care for our natural lands.

Event Notice

If you plan to host an event or gathering on a Preserve, please complete our form.

Report an Issue

Please let us know if you have encountered an issue on a Preserve.

Success Stories

Learn more about our unique stewardship projects!

Stewardship Goals

The Conservancy protects more than 5,000 acres in preserves and 900 acres in conservation easements. Our goals include:

  • Ensure land trust standards and practices are met as an accredited land trust
  • Enhance the conservation values of ecosystems we protect for outdoor recreation, scientific research, and public use.
  • Serve as the external lead for the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape guiding strategic decisions in the region.

Managing invasive species in the Falmouth Forest Garden at Conoy Wetlands Nature Preserve

Management Plans

Once the Conservancy acquires land, stewardship begins immediately and continues in perpetuity!

Active stewardship of each property begins in collaboration with land protection by providing assessments based on research, observation, and analysis. This data confirms the intention behind an acquisition and informs how we manage the land. Once the parcel becomes a preserve we mark boundaries, post the property with rules and regulations, and develop a management plan.

A management plan considers the intent of the property and ensures protection of its conservation values including soil, water, habitat, unique ecological or historic features or functions, and recreation purposes. The plan serves to balance the public-use of the preserve with its conservation values. Routine maintenance is set in motion. The plan is implemented. The results are monitored. Revisions are made. And on and on it goes, forever!

The Work

While some stewardship activities like trail clearing or trash removal make an obvious impact on a preserve, other activities are not as apparent. The outcome of planning and work we do today will not be fully seen for years or even decades. Whether we’re removing invasive plants, restructuring trails to prevent erosion or restoring habitat, we are undertaking projects for the benefit of future generations.

Staff, volunteers, and partners beside debris they cleared from Otter Creek Nature Preserve.

Who Stewards the Land

The Conservancy relies on a full spectrum of skill-sets through paid staff, interns, and volunteers, to steward and protect land:

  • Hands-on preserve maintenance like removing trees, maintaining existing buildings or creating new parking or trails on priority preserves
  • Developing maps using GIS to identify and guide conservation areas and trail development
  • Forestry services to evaluate and manage the health of our forests
  • Seasonal land stewards to support routine maintenance and projects
  • Engaging volunteers to help with work days to plant trees, build new kiosks, or other tasks
  • Fostering stewardship of land and water resources through community partners and the Conservancy’s Interpretive Ranger, Water Quality Volunteer Coalition, Tree Tenders, and Community Wildlife Habitat Programs.

The needs of wildlife habitat and public lands are too great to manage with limited staff. The Conservancy’s staff, interns, and volunteers work hand-in-hand to protect and steward our natural areas. We can’t do it alone and need your ongoing support!

Event on Preserve Notification

The lands of the Lancaster Conservancy are open to the public 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset, free of charge. The Conservancy strives to strike a balance in its dual mission to protect natural lands while providing opportunities for passive recreation. Events taking place on Conservancy lands have the potential to create an impact and require careful planning and coordination between event organizers and Conservancy staff. To help mitigate the impact of events that go beyond routine use of our lands, the Conservancy requires that any party interested in hosting an event on Conservancy lands must complete and secure approval of a Notice of Event form.

Who needs to fill out this form?

  • An event that seeks to provide financial or other benefit to a specific individual, group, or organization, including (but not limited to): fundraising, team building, a planned group activity (i.e. schools, senior groups, interest group, academic visits, etc).
  • An event that may require Conservancy management or staff support prior to, during, or after its occurrence.
  • Any planned activity that requires the transport or parking of a vehicle larger than a 15-passenger van (including shuttles or buses) or 5 or more vehicles. Any large groups, defined as 20 or more individuals or 5 or more vehicles
  • Those seeking to conduct scientific research on Lancaster Conservancy nature preserve.

The information submitted on this form is used by the Lancaster Conservancy to assist event organizers in troubleshooting potential logistical issues (ie: limited parking), promote public safety and provide better understanding of how certain nature preserves are being used.

Please complete forms to the best of your ability or email any questions you may have to cprzybylek@lancasterconservancy.org with the heading “re: Notice of event” or call (717) 392-7891 ext. 206 M-F, 8 am – 5 pm. Please note that it may take up to 2 weeks to process your request. 

Download Form

Report an Issue on a Preserve

Office Line: (717) 392-7891 | Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

After Hours Line: (717) 742-5440 | After Above Office Hours & On Weekends

Emergencies: 911

Success Stories

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