"French Creek and the Lake Erie Shoreline"

Message from the President

Thomas D. Saunders

The French Creek watershed and the Lake Erie shoreline in Northwestern Pennsylvania have been longstanding areas of focus for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

French Creek is one the most ecologically significant waterways in the mid-Atlantic region. It starts in Chautauqua County, New York and flows 117 miles through Northwestern Pennsylvania into the Allegheny River. This important creek is home to rare and endangered mussels, plants and fish. The Lake Erie shoreline’s unique ecological system provides an important habitat for birds and many rare plant species.

This issue of Conserve highlights the different ways the Conservancy is engaged in these areas, ranging from helping to create flower gardens in cities and towns to protecting the floodplains and wetlands in the French Creek watershed and the Lake Erie shoreline.

Since the 1960s, WPC has conserved more than 3,840 acres of lands now protected permanently from development in the French Creek watershed and 3,800 acres along four miles of coastline along Lake Erie. Most recently, the Conservancy expanded the David M. Roderick Wildlife Reserve, and protected a key forested property along French Creek to help its owners continue sustainable forestry practices.

This issue will also highlight how the Conservancy’s Natural Heritage staff is working with others to help restore the natural habitat of Erie Bluffs State Park, and how dedicated stewards keep the community gardens in Erie and Meadville vibrant.

Thanks to Conservancy members, volunteers and community partners in Northwestern Pennsylvania, we are privileged to be a part of the efforts to ensure that the French Creek watershed and Lake Erie shoreline continue to thrive as ecological and recreational treasures.

Cover photo features Cherry Blossoms and was taken by Greg Funka.

Thomas D. Saunders
Thomas Saunders
President and CEO

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