UPDATE: June 5, 2020 at 10:00AM
As Lancaster County enters the Yellow Phase of the process to reopen Pennsylvania, the Lancaster Conservancy ask all nature preserve visitors to continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and state and local health officials.
Please help keep our community and the fragile ecosystems our preserves protect safe by leaving no trace and:
- avoiding crowded nature preserves – find a different outdoor park or preserve to explore if a parking area is full
- practicing social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from other visitors (please try to stand on durable surfaces like rocks to avoid harming habitat and widening/eroding the trail when you let others pass – trail erosion can have damaging impacts on the water quality of the streams our preserves help protect)
- being considerate of other visitors by wearing a face covering
- packing it in and packing it out – Conservancy preserves do not have trash bins
- leaving natural objects and cultural artifacts where you find them
- respecting our neighbors by driving slowly through communities surrounding our preserves and staying within the marked preserve boundaries
- and hiking smart – make sure you have the 10 essentials of hiking and plan your hike ahead of time using the maps and resources found at www.lancasterconservancy.org/preserves/ . This is not a time to take risks that will put undue pressure on our emergency and health care systems.
During these unprecedented times, we hope that all members of our community can find healing for mind, body and soul in the peace of our nature preserves. Thank you for doing your part to steward our precious natural lands.
UPDATE: APRIL 9, 2020 at 1:30PM
Lancaster Conservancy Nature Preserves are experiencing high user rates at this time, creating un-safe conditions. We insist that out of state visitors and those who must travel more than 15 minutes to reach a preserve, please stay home. Our nature preserves are not parks and are protected remnants of forests and glens. They have limited parking, narrow trails, no bathrooms and limited cell phone reception. To protect the community and our employees from COVID-19 we ask everyone to enjoy nature around their homes and neighborhoods to keep ourselves and our preserves safe and healthy.
Per Governor Wolf’s Directive:
- You can go outdoors to engage in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running if you maintain social distancing.
- You can recreate in your neighborhood or a local park or trail that is nearest to your home. Look for locations within 15 minutes of your home.
- Avoid crowded trails, parks, and fishing spots. Find another local location or go during less popular hours.
- You should not travel outside of your community to other outdoor locations across the state, such as state parks, forests, private camps, leased campsites, etc.
- Be considerate. Wear a mask to protect others as recommended.
UPDATE: March 31, 2020 at 5:30PM
The parking areas and River Road access to Tucquan Glen & Pyfer Nature Preserves are CLOSED indefinitely.
Beginning Sunday, March 22 visitors will need to seek other preserves or parks for hiking and outdoor activity. Those found to violate this closure and park on River Road will be towed and prosecuted. This closure is due to overcrowding and lack of respect for this preserve.
We insist our community do the following:
- Explore our other nature preserves such as Steinman or Trout Run, Welsh Mountain, Climbers Run, Shenks Ferry, Kellys Run or find a municipal park close to home. (The Conservancy’s full list is at lancasterconservancy.org/preserves/)
- If a parking area is full at any nature preserve, drive on. Illegal parking will result in additional preserves being closed. Crowded preserves, especially at this time when social distancing must be strictly practiced, creates an unsafe environment for all of us.
- Follow posted rules & regulations for your safety and that of our preserves. Do not take unnecessary risks.
The Conestoga Trail along the river remains open and a strenuous hike into Tucquan Glen is still possible from House Rock or Pinnacle Scenic Overlook.
These are difficult times. Access to nature and the outdoors is more critical than ever for the well-being of our community. Please help keep our nature preserves open. Respect the rules, be careful, and value these protected places.
The Lancaster Conservancy
March 16, 2020
Dear Members and Friends,
The Lancaster Conservancy is taking the challenge of COVID -19 seriously, please know that your Conservancy is well positioned to ride out this storm.
As our community works together to keep one another healthy, we have made the decision to close our office to the public. Our team will continue to work remotely and in the field and will remain available to communicate with you by phone and e-mail. We will move all internal and external meetings to conference calls, so we ask our partners, board and committee members to please watch for e-mails with call-in instructions.
We have cancelled all of our public meetings through the end of March, which include the lecture with Doug Tallamy at Willow Valley on Wednesday, March 18, our Take a Hike at Wildcat Bluff with Phil on March 21, and our March Volunteer Workdays at Otter Creek and Shenks Ferry. Watch for future notices regarding April gatherings and additional announcements by regularly checking our website.
Our nature preserves remain open for personal escape and exercise as long as social distancing is practiced. Please try to avoid crowds and if a parking lot is full, please find another preserve to explore. We believe fresh air and water are key ingredients to a healthy planet, to healthy bodies, and to healthy minds.
As you enjoy the magic of fresh air this Spring, or walk among wild flowers blooming several weeks early, please consider making a contribution to the Conservancy. We are dependent on your ongoing support to keep our preserves open.
We remain grateful for the partnerships and community we create when we are united by nature and look forward to a time when we can gather together again.
Until that time, we wish you and yours good health – and many happy hikes on our preserves.
Phil Wenger, Kate Gonick, Fritz Schroeder, Brandon Tennis and the Conservancy Team
p.s. Find out where you can get your #dailydoseofnature prescription filled: www.lancasterconservancy.org/preserves/