Pittsburgh, Pa. – August 31, 2020 – Important headwaters of a wild brook trout stream in Ohiopyle State Park have been restored, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Bureau of State Parks (BSP), Wetland Restoration LLC, Beran Environmental and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
A portion of the restoration occurred on a 1,300-acre property that WPC acquired in 2008 and subsequently conveyed to the park. It included a spring-fed concrete swimming pool, road crossing and on-stream dams, which impacted natural wetlands and streams, including Long Run Creek, which supports naturally reproducing brook trout. A portion of the property was named the B.K. Simon Family Forest to honor a significant donation from family members in memory of B. Kenneth Simon, a Pittsburgh businessman who founded All-Pak Inc. and was a philanthropist and longtime member of WPC.
The restoration, which began in July 2018 with surveys by WPC’s Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program and BSP’s resource management personnel, was completed in August 2020. The result is a high-quality habitat for a diverse array of species, native flowering plants for pollinators and a beautiful landscape where visitors can hike, fish and observe wildlife.
An abandoned concrete swimming pool was removed, creating a half acre of exceptional value wetlands that provide improved habitat for waterfowl, amphibians, reptiles and multiple invertebrates including rare dragonflies.
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 11 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 Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, now on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 11,000 volunteers. The work of WPC is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.