Engaging our Community

Nature nurtures us, takes the stress away from our daily lives, and leaves lasting impressions. Each year the Conservancy reaches thousands of people on our preserves — special places that inspire and connect all ages to nature. Whether it is exploring a meadow, taking a hike to meander through a forest or kayaking down a stream, this region and the places we protect offer some of the best opportunities to get outdoors, explore our trails, and learn about the natural landscape.

The Conservancy’s commitment to strengthening this bond with nature is so great we offer events and activities throughout the year to engage people from all walks of life who want to listen and learn about our wild areas.

A few other ways we challenge you to savor nature:

  • Get outdoors through our Take a Hike Series or take your own hike and share your experience with us!
  • Show us your child’s experience in nature! Whether splashing in a stream or building a mud pie, our preserves offer so many ways for you to give your child a chance to love the outdoor world. And be prepared to get a little dirty and have fun at the new Natural Playground at Climbers Run.
  • Pick a favorite preserve and bathe in the forested landscape, take in a breathtaking vista, listen for the sound of spring peepers, or observe the fall migration as the season changes. There is so much life around us waiting to be discovered.
  • Plant a tree at your home or join us for a tree planting along a waterway or in a park.
  • There’s no time like the present to learn how to hunt or fish on a preserve near you.

Our environmental education partners extend our reach to teach students, youth, and adult learners through structured programming and service:

  • Together with NorthBay and School District of Lancaster, we will reach nearly 3,000 middle school students at Climbers Run over the next 3 years. Schools and partners also use Climbers Run and priority preserves for Trout in the Classroom and watershed education to learn about caring for local streams that sustain wild trout.
  • Excentia’s TimberNook of Lancaster summer sessions will take place at Climbers. Excentia gets kids out into nature with unique outdoor programs that inspire them to think and play in new and creative ways to enhance their sensory skills.
  • Scout projects and service learning opportunities on preserves provide young leaders and their troop opportunities to build conservation skills in a variety of ways, whether it’s building a kiosk for a new preserve, installing bat boxes in meadow, or adding mile markers along a new trail.
  • College and university research and preserve opportunities contribute valuable information and learning opportunities for students and professors.
  • Nonprofit partners like Donegal Trout Unlimited, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and so many others extend our reach to all ages in protecting our streams and natural areas by sharing their expertise, time, and service in our community.
  • Every other year we work with science professionals and conservation partners from the region to host natural science training led in collaboration with our Pennsylvania Master Naturalist. Summer 2020 will kick off the next training.

As passionate voices for the natural world we hope you will join us to learn, explore, protect and restore this region’s amazing sense of place.


The Conservancy is proud to work with dedicated volunteers who love to support preserve work days, spend time in nature, and connect with new people. Volunteer at one or more of our Preserve Work Days and learn to protect and care for our beautiful preserves through hands-on stewardship and education activities.

Why Volunteer?

  • Expand your knowledge of native plants and animals
  • Help preserve local ecosystems for people and wildlife
  • Learn new skills to help manage your own landscape
  • Discover how our citizen science efforts protect our watershed
  • Meet people who share a mutual passion for nature
  • Relax with beautiful scenery and get to know our trails

Volunteer Preserve Work Days

Join us and invite your family, friends, and co-workers to volunteer! Work days are great ways for a club, school or church group, scouts, and local businesses to have fun helping at a preserve for a day to learn and serve our community. Opportunities abound for youth and adults to learn how to plant native trees and shrubs, cleanup trash, count plants and animals, manage invasive plants, and so much more.

Check out our events page for upcoming volunteer opportunities. If you or your group plans to attend a preserve work day please be sure to sign up via Eventbrite so we can plan for your experience.

Volunteer Reminders:

  1. Dress for weather conditions
  2. Wear good footwear (waterproof if possible)
  3. Bring your favorite gloves and tools (pruners, etc.)
  4. Wear sunscreen and use insect repellent at your own discretion
  5. Smile and have fun!

Empowered to Volunteer On Your Own?

If you or your group would like to volunteer on a day other than our scheduled preserve work day(s) please contact the Conservancy prior to the volunteer event (please include preserve details such as preserve preference for volunteer work if known, number of volunteers helping and hours, date and time). This kind of independent volunteer service project may include general trash cleanup, invasive species management like garlic mustard removal, and trash cleanup on a designated preserve.

Please reach out to Lydia Martin, Director of Education & Engagement, at lmartin@lancasterconservancy.org to learn more!

Volunteer Land Steward Program

The Conservancy’s Volunteer Land Steward Program is under review for revitalization and expansion. For those of you who have been past volunteers in this program and/or have expressed interest we THANK YOU for your ongoing volunteer service we look forward to touching base with you about changes to this program.

Please check back regarding details about this program to educate a select core of volunteers who support preserve management and monitoring.

If you have a volunteer related question please contact:

Lydia Martin, Director of Education & Engagement
717-392-7891 Ext 215 or via email: lmartin@lancasterconservancy.org

Thank you for your volunteer service!

Volunteer Calendar


21nov1:00 PM5:00 PMVolunteer WorkdayOtter Creek Nature PreserveOtter Creek Nature Preserve

22nov5:00 PM10:00 PMSave Woods & WaterSave Woods & WaterLUCA


19dec1:00 PM5:00 PMVolunteer WorkdayOtter Creek Nature PreserveOtter Creek Nature Preserve

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