Monday, January 13, 2020

Natural Lands, Berks Nature Add 60 Acres To Nolde State Forest And Environmental Ed Center Lands In Berks County

On January 13, Natural Lands and Berks Nature announced the successful preservation of two parcels totaling 60 acres in Cumru Township, Berks County. Immediately after purchasing the wooded properties, Natural Lands transferred ownership to DCNR as additions to the 665-acre Nolde Forest and Environmental Education Center.
In 1904 Jacob Nolde, a German immigrant who’d made his fortune in the hosiery business, purchased 500 acres of land just south of Reading and built a home there for his family. 
The land had been stripped of trees to make charcoal at the nearby iron furnaces; there was only a single white pine left standing when Nolde bought the property. By the time of his unexpected death 12 years later, more than 500,000 conifers had been planted at Nolde’s direction.
The Commonwealth acquired Nolde Forest in the 1960s. The Environmental Education Center was established in 1970, the first such center to be owned and operated by the DCNR.
“The two additions to the State Park’s holdings are extraordinary—they represent the only expansion of the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center since the park was created in 1966,” said Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn of DCNR. “In the spirit of Jacob Nolde, this land will be open to visitors to explore and enjoy.”
The newly acquired parcels-- a 55-acre property along the western border of Nolde Forest and a five-acre property along the southern border—are high-quality mature woodlands. Once at risk of development, these lands are now preserved forever.
“Natural Lands, in partnership with Berks Nature, is thrilled to facilitate this project and add another 60 acres to Nolde Forest,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “Over the past six decades Natural Lands has acquired and transferred hundreds of acres to Pennsylvania’s state parks. In doing so, the land is preserved, the wildlife and plants are protected, and residents are given greater opportunities to connect with nature.”
“Berks Nature is glad to participate in the expansion of the land, wildlife habitat, and water resources of Nolde Forest, which benefits the water quality and quantity of our shared Angelica Creek watershed,” said Larry Lloyd, senior ecologist with Berks Nature.
Natural Lands received funding for the land purchase from DCNR and from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Highlands Conservation Act. 
The Highlands Conservation Act authorizes the Department of the Interior to provide federal matching grants to support the agencies in purchasing land, or an interest in land from willing sellers. Congress appropriates funding annually under the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
For more information on the Forest and the Center, visit the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center webpage.  Click Here to visit Nolde on Facebook.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Natural Lands website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from Natural Lands and Like them on FacebookClick Here to support their activities.
Visit the Berks Nature website to learn more about their initiatives and how to get involved.  Click Here sign up for their newsletter.  Click Here to support their work.
[Posted: January 13, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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