Thursday, December 20, 2018

New Central PA Conservancy Land Acquisition Connects Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area, Local Park In Dauphin County

On December 20, the Central PA Conservancy announced funds had been secured to complete the acquisition of the 5-parcel Spangler properties on the Kittatinny Ridge immediately north of Harrisburg to connect the Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area with Hocker Park in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County.
The goal is to work together with Lower Paxton Township to improve the ridgeline trail (former east-short Darlington Trail) and trailhead and parking area. While eventual transfer to the Boyd Conservation Area is part of the plan, CPC intends to hold the land in fee and manage it as a preserve property until a transfer is feasible.
This project builds on an earlier addition to Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area spearheaded by CPC together with another local landowner in 2002. CPC acquired an 80-acre parcel, and subsequently transferred it to DCNR's Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area.
The Spangler lands adjoin this parcel, and once acquired, will extend the protected corridor all the way to the Blue Mountain Parkway.
This project is made possible by a recently-awarded a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, under the administration of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of legislation establishing the Keystone Fund, which is financed by a real estate transfer tax and has supported $1B for parks, trails, community green spaces, and libraries.
A grant of $229,000 was approved to support the bargain sale purchase of the Spangler parcels.
The Alexander Boyd and Jane Starke Boyd Charitable Foundation and a landowner donation of value completed the financing with generous commitments both monetarily, and to the goal of preserving natural and recreational resources in their communities.
This project also marks another success for the Kittatinny Ridge Land Partnership, an effort administered by The Nature Conservancy-PA and formed by 7 regional land trusts (including CPC) to advance land conservation efforts on the 185 miles of ridgeline running through PA.
Protecting the ridge will preserve critical habitat for migratory bird species and mammals, secure a connected migratory corridor, support recreational activity and public access, and preserve an important part of PA's natural heritage for future generations.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Central PA Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for updates from the Conservancy. Registration now open for 2019 Ironmaster’s Challenge April 28.
New DCNR Grant Round
To learn more about grant opportunities to support riparian buffer, trail and recreation projects, visit DCNR’s Community Conservation Grant Program webpage. A new grant round is opening January 22 and will close April 10.
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