Conservancy Protects Land to Expand Natural Area in Slippery Rock
Wed, Jun 17th 2015, 08:12. Filed under News Releases.
Slippery Rock, Pa. – June 17 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has permanently protected 39 acres adjacent to its 202-acre Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Area, a site known for its spectacular display of wildflowers along its hiking trail. Today’s purchase is the fifth addition to the Conservancy’s Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Area in Slippery Rock Township, Butler County, since its original acquisition in 1979.
“We are so glad to be adding more protected land to Wolf Creek Narrows. It’s an ecologically significant property with an amazing geological history, and it is just one of those places that is so beautiful that we’re fortunate to have it within a short drive from Pittsburgh,” said Tom Saunders, president and chief executive officer of the Conservancy. “The view from the bridge is one of our region’s real treats – it’s a great place to hike and explore. And with this acquisition, more key land is added to this streamside forest.”
The property features high priority forest patches that will be protected now from being fragmented. The area also includes a priority stream and habitat for a number of species. The Conservancy plans to restore and improve native plant communities on this property through a combination of natural succession, active planting and exotic invasive plant control. There also are plans, contingent on funding, to construct a trail to connect with the existing 1.5-mile trail.
The property falls within the exceptionally significant Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Heritage Area, and is also identified as the number one greenway in the Butler County Greenways Plan. This recently completed county-wide greenways plan determines which areas in Butler County are important due to its natural features.
The Conservancy negotiated an amended oil and gas lease with Rex Energy to prevent any surface impacts related to extraction of subsurface resources leased by the company.
Funding for this Butler County project came from a bequest made to the Conservancy by Helen B. Katz. WPC will seek funding from various sources for the property’s future stewardship needs.
The Conservancy originally acquired the majority of the Wolf Creek Narrows Natural Area 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.
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 252,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 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 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of nearly 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.