Erie, Pa. – March 17 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has permanently protected 54 acres adjacent to a major protected area; the land will be added to a State Game Land, the Conservancy announced today.
WPC acquired the property in Springfield Township, Erie County, and transferred the site to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The parcel will now be part of the David M. Roderick Wildlife Reserve, also known as State Game Lands 314.
The majority of the property is forested wetlands, largely comprised of lake plain swamp but also open shrub swamp. These freshwater wetland ecosystems have been known to support species such as Clinton’s wood fern, log fern and pumpkin ash, which grows in wet habitats. A tributary running through the site empties into Turkey Creek, a known habitat for two species of dragonflies that are considered rare in the state – Cyrano darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha) and mocha emerald (Somatochlora linearis).
The parcel also falls within a Pennsylvania Important Bird Area, an international Bird Conservation Region focal area, a priority Erie County Greenway and a Natural Heritage Area.
“Now that this property is part of the Roderick Reserve, it will be open to the public for recreational purposes such as hiking, hunting and bird watching,” said Jane Menchyk, a land protection manager with the Conservancy.
In 1991, WPC helped protect the Roderick Wildlife Reserve, which now belongs to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
This Erie County acquisition was made possible through grants from the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection Program and funding from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
A photo has been made available for media at: http://goo.gl/oyzumL
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 235,000 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 135 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of about 12,500 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.