Pittsburgh, Pa. – April 19, 2017 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) announced today the protection and addition of 18 acres of land in Sadsbury Township, Crawford County to one of the most ecologically important forested areas in the region.
These acres along Grieser Road are now part of the Conservancy’s Tryon-Weber Woods Natural Area, which is a remote 108-acre reserve that is open to the public for nature watching, exploring and hunting. Students from the University of Pittsburgh’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology have been using the natural area for years for a variety of research projects, including learning about the effects of deer browsing on forest health.
“We are pleased to be able to add property to this protected forest reserve. It has impressive stands of mature beech-sugar maple forest and is a wonderful place for visiting and hiking,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy.
Protected in May 1976, the natural area consists primarily of upland forest and a small stream valley with hillsides flecked with trillium, violets, bellwort and wild geranium in spring. A tributary to the stream enters from the east and along the southern border where there is an area of forested wetlands, including vernal pools that provide temporary habitat for some unique plants and animals.
The area also contains a 40-acre stand of old-growth American beech-sugar maple forest, thought to be the last remaining mature stand of beech-sugar maple in Western Pennsylvania and the easternmost stand in the national range. Accordingly, these woods were recently incorporated into the national Old-Growth Forest Network, which recognizes the locations of and organizations from across the country that protect these special forest types. Some of the trees in this forest are around 100 feet tall and at least 90 to 120 years old. Visiting this area to see these large and magnificent trees is worthwhile, as indicated in the book “Great Natural Areas in Western Pennsylvania” by Stephen J. Ostrander. Please be advised that there is limited parking and signage, and no designated trails.
Funds from the estate of Helen B. Katz were used to purchase this property. In 2008, the Conservancy received her bequest that remains the largest contribution to date from an individual to WPC. Her generous legacy gift has allowed the Conservancy to permanently protect more than 5,000 acres of natural land.
Photos have been made available courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy below.
High-res photo and map:
Photo for web use:
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish 10 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million 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 more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.