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Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Annual Susquehanna Riverlands Partnership Newsletter. We are glad that you are here! By clicking on the linked button above or below you will find an update on what has been happening throughout the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape and within the collaborative Partnership that manages it. This issue includes video, photos, and interactive maps that will guide you in exploring our story and allow you to share in our year’s successes, challenges, and opportunities as we embark on year one of a five year journey outlined in our recently adopted strategic plan. We had initially planned on hosting a public event to provide updates and share this information in-person, but then the Covid-19 pandemic illness hit, upending our plans and redefining normalcy for all of us. Despite the challenges of these times, we have been hard at work and are excited to share our progress with you. While we cannot meet in person, this newsletter is designed to give high level updates on what is happening across the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape and within the Partnership.
As you scroll through this newsletter you will read about new initiatives that our Stakeholder Work Groups are diligently advancing. These projects are aligned with the goals and benchmarks outlined in our strategic plan and tackle an array of conservation-related issues. In the Projects Spotlight Section, you will learn about how we are building a one-of-a-kind regional collaborative aimed at effectively and sustainably managing and stewarding our landscape’s rich tapestry of public lands. We also share the story of how a partnership with a professor at Harrisburg Area Community College allowed us to deploy state of the art mapping technology to identify scenic viewsheds to help guide future regional land conservation protection and preservation projects across our landscape. You will also learn about resources and opportunities to get plugged into our Partnership’s work.
Check out our 2020 Mini-Grant Awardees profiles to discover how our Partnership is investing in regional conservation efforts and find out if you are eligible to apply for a mini-grant in 2021. Learn more about the Partnership’s Work Groups and find out how to get involved. You will also discover more ways to explore and engage with our landscape, including virtual and in-person opportunities and resources.
While 2020 has been a year of tremendous change, we continue to work towards protecting, stewarding, and connecting the natural lands and communities along the Lower Susquehanna River Corridor. We hope that you come away from this issue inspired by our work and with a renewed sense of what’s possible when people and communities come together around conservation and outdoor recreation. We also want you to be inspired to explore the landscape more deliberately and take advantage of the growing number of opportunities to discover its irreplaceable natural beauty. Thank you for visiting, we look forward to seeing you in the woods or on the river!
Lancaster Conservancy Stewardship Manager and GIS Analyst, On Behalf of the Susquehanna Riverlands Leadership Team
Susquehanna Riverlands: A Place and a Partnership
The Susquehanna Riverlands is one of eight Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DNCR) designated conservation landscapes that includes the scenic and historic Lower Susquehanna River Corridor in Lancaster and York Counties in South Central Pennsylvania, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. While the first thought that many first-time visitors to Dutch Country have before arriving may include visions of prime farmland, vibrant downtowns and rural lifestyles, many are pleasantly surprised to discover that, in addition to all of these assets, the corridor along the Lower Susquehanna River also boasts over 16,000 acres of permanently protected public natural lands, including a patchwork of state, county and local parks, nature preserves and regional hiking, multimodal and water trails, providing a wide variety of outdoor adventures. In addition to being a geographically defined place that is home to publicly accessible and scenic natural lands, the Susquehanna Riverlands is also a collaborative Partnership. Our Partnership includes a constellation of communities, organizations and agencies committed to the mission of protecting, preserving, and stewarding the natural lands along the Lower Susquehanna River, emphasizing connectivity, eco-system health, and sustainable public access. Our Partnership’s vision is ensuring that the natural lands along the Lower Susquehanna River remain protected, stewarded, and connected to each other and their surrounding communities. Forever. This collaboration is facilitated by an intentionally structured leadership team comprised of local leaders committed to conservation, public access, and connectivity. To find out more about the Susquehanna Riverlands, click here.
The Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape Program is managed by the Lancaster Conservancy with funding provided by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Cover Photo Credit: Christian Pryzbylek of House Rock Overlook