Buds are bursting on trees and wildflower season is in full swing – it’s spring in Pennsylvania. Crowds from all over the mid-Atlantic are flocking to nature preserves like Shenks Ferry to see the brilliant spring ephemerals, and for the Conservancy’s Stewardship Team, it’s tree planting season.
After putting almost 1,500 tree seedlings, sourced mostly through the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, into the ground in 2021, we are setting our sights even higher this year – 4,000 new trees planted on Conservancy preserves by the end of 2022.
First up, phase two of a 26-acre hayfield conversion project at Safe Harbor Nature Preserve. This old hayfield is being restored into a working warm-season grass and pollinator savanna landscape, which includes seven acres of tree plantings. Once established, the landscape at Safe Harbor will provide additional habitat for a wide range of wildlife including songbirds, grassland birds, and a broad spectrum of pollinator species. The hayfield conversion should also create a significant carbon sink, capable of sequestering and storing up to 40 tons of CO2 per year!
A similar project is set for Kellys Run Nature Preserve this fall and additional tree plantings are already scheduled for this spring within the Falmouth Forest Garden at Conoy Wetlands Nature Preserve and along Dugans Run at Hellam Hills Nature Preserve.
This work is all part of the Conservancy’s efforts to not only protect, but also restore our natural lands. Saving land from development is only the first step. Our Stewardship team works tirelessly on these projects, ensuring our preserves offer the best in habitat, ecosystem health, and recreation. The value of a thriving ecosystem and habitat cannot be overstated – and neither can the value of your support for the Conservancy.
Our goal to plant over 4,000 trees in 2022 is ambitious. We are only able to set such bold goals because of the generosity of our members, partners, volunteers, and friends. Your gift today on Arbor Day, the final day of the Conservancy’s Spring Membership Campaign, ensures that we will be able to continue to set and meet our ultimate goal – a community with a wealth of thriving forests, wetlands, and waterways for this generation and beyond.
P.S. Today is your last day to give a gift of $50 or more and get a gift of native coneflower seed in return. Thank you to each and every one of you who have already donated to the Conservancy during our Earth Day to Arbor Day 2022 Spring Membership Campaign! We are grateful!
P.P.S. Did you know the Conservancy’s Otter Creek Nature Preserve joined the Old-Growth Forest Network just in time for Arbor Day?