WPC Acquires Scenic Land along Lake Erie Shoreline
Mon, Dec 20th 2010, 13:40. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – December 20, 2010 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) today acquired one of the last remaining sections of undeveloped coastline along Lake Erie, to permanently conserve the land as a refuge for wildlife and a recreational destination.
The Conservancy has purchased approximately 113 acres from a private landowner in Springfield Township, Erie County and will convey the parcel to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The property will become a permanent addition to the 3,214-acre David M. Roderick Wildlife Reserve/State Game Land 314, which was established by the Conservancy in 1991.
”This property is one of Northwest Pennsylvania’s gems. It has dramatic, tall bluffs along the lake, forested wetlands on the interior parts, and it expands the giant state game land just west of it that the Conservancy had protected in the past,” said Thomas Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
“We are so glad we can make this area available to the public for hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, and just walking on the beach.”
Due to its location along Lake Erie and its scenic beauty, this land was at risk to be developed in a manner that would have harmed its recreational and ecological value. A longtime conservation priority for WPC, the newly protected property will now safeguard beautiful views of Lake Erie from the Pennsylvania Seaway Trail, a state and national scenic byway.
The property includes steep bluffs above the Lake Erie beach, coastal wetlands, and rare geological features known as scarp seeps. It is home to endangered plants such as variegated scouring-rush and small-headed rush. In addition, the land falls within a priority Erie County Greenway, an international Bird Conservation Region and a Pennsylvania Important Bird Area (IBA).
Birds that have been observed in the area include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, bank swallows, American woodcocks, willow flycatchers, yellow-breasted chats, wood thrushes and scarlet tanagers. “This acquisition, with its early successional and wetlands habitats in immediate proximity to the lake, will add valuable habitat to the existing Important Bird Area at Roderick Reserve,” said Audubon Pennsylvania Important Bird Area Coordinator Sarah Sargent.
“December is always an exciting time of year at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, because many of our land protection acquisitions close at year-end,” said Saunders. “Last week, we added 135 acres to Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County; today this property is being protected along the Erie Shore; and before the month ends, we expect to protect a beautiful forested property in Bedford County with a donated conservation easement, and also protect more properties in the Ligonier Valley.”
This Erie County acquisition was made possible through grants from the Erie Community Foundation, the Community Conservation Partnership Program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection Program. Funding is also anticipated from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Photos have been made available for media use at: http://goo.gl/WVn5e
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC helped to establish ten state parks and has conserved nearly 229,000 acres of natural lands and waterways. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, Pa. that symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.
Director of Communications
(412) 992-1226 cell