WPC Acquires Forested Bluffs along Wolf Creek in Slippery Rock Township
Thu, Jun 14th 2012, 14:23. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – June 14, 2012 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) has acquired 23 acres in Slippery Rock Township, Butler County. The tract, which includes forested bluffs and more than 1,100 feet of frontage along Wolf Creek, will be added to the Conservancy’s 115-acre Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Area.
Wolf Creek Narrows is known for its spring wildflowers, including large areas of trillium, bluebell and trout lily. It is across the road from Miller Woods, a 42-acre certified Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary owned by Slippery Rock University.
“Wolf Creek Narrows is a distinct destination for its rare natural environment,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “The spectacular display of spring wildflowers and its tall bluffs makes it one of Western Pennsylvania’s rare landscapes.”
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy acquired the majority of the Wolf Creek Narrows property from Mary Clutton Colvin and Charlotte Clutton Friedline in 1979. The sisters donated a portion of the value of their property to the Conservancy, in memory of their parents and grandparents.
The narrow valley of Wolf Creek is believed to have been created by the erosion and collapse of a cave ceiling due to melting glaciers millennia ago. Forested bluffs, over 50 feet tall, rise above the creek and its floodplains. The property includes a small wetland area dominated by cattails and sedges, and a diverse, mature forest of sycamore, tuliptree, eastern hemlock and red oak. The property’s multiple limestone outcrops support plant species such as walking fern and American yew.
Birds include belted kingfisher, Louisiana waterthrush, red-eyed vireo and wood thrush can be seen there. Ospreys and bald eagles have also been observed along this section of the creek. This new parcel connects the nesting habitat of a pair of osprey birds to their foraging region at the creek. This section of the creek is also breeding habitat for the ocellated darner, a dragonfly species of concern.
“As a Slippery Rock University alumna, I had the opportunity to utilize this area as an outdoor classroom and for research,” said Jane Iksic-Menchyk, WPC’s land protection specialist. “I feel honored to personally be involved in the permanent protection of this landscape for future generations to use, be it for scientific research, bird-watching or just fishing in the creek.”
This property will be held by the Conservancy and open to the public for hiking, nature observation and other low-impact outdoor recreation. A bequest from the estate of Helen Katz supported this acquisition.
A photo has been made available for media use at: http://goo.gl/7mRv1.
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 has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 232,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which 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 13,000 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.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy