Harrisburg, PA — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced the Wolf Administration’s investment of more than $288,500 to protect approximately 278 acres of open space and natural areas in Erie County.
“This funding helps the department support the acquisition of land for expansion of areas for outdoor recreation, critical wildlife habitat, and for the conservation of open space and natural areas,” Dunn said. “We are happy to assist communities in Erie County with protecting the places they value for opportunities to spend time in nature, and to help provide critical habitat for plants and wildlife.”
The two grants in the county are:
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, $260,900, toward the acquisition of approximately 242 acres in Venango Township to protect critical habitat and open space in the French Creek watershed. The property includes uplands and wetlands and will be open to the public for hiking, hunting, bird and wildlife watching, fishing and stream access, as well as research and nature study. Alder Brook, a feeder stream to the West Branch of French Creek, flows through the property and is recognized as a Natural Heritage Area in the Erie County Natural Heritage Inventory.
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, $27,600, toward the acquisition of approximately 35 acres in Waterford Township. The property in the French Creek watershed and is an important wetland area with numerous plant species of special concern and includes two feeder streams that flow into LeBoeuf Lake, a natural glacial lake. The property will be managed as a natural area and it will be open to the public for outdoor recreation including hiking, hunting, bird and wildlife watching, research and nature study.
“The French Creek Watershed area is recognized as one of the most biologically significant waterways in the nation and is a beloved part of what makes northwestern Pennsylvania such a scenic place to hike, bike, boat, fish, hunt, and more,” Sen. Michele Brooks said. “I am certain that so many families will celebrate this support and what it means for not only outdoor enthusiasts, but for our local plant, aquatic, bird, and wildlife. The pandemic has certainly reminded us of how blessed we are to have peaceful, pristine places to go outside to enjoy fresh air and nature’s handiwork.”
A complete list (PDF) of the 42 land acquisition grants awarded statewide is on the DCNR website. The $17 million in grants supported by the Keystone Fund will assist with the conservation of 13,300 acres of open space and natural areas.
Learn more about DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnership Program grants on the DCNR website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101