Manada Conservancy: 225 Acres Preserved on Peter’s Mountain

Peter's Mountain, Sally Zaino

Conserving more beauty in the Kittatinny Corridor

In 2007, Manada Conservancy placed a conservation easement on the 41-acre heart of a unique swamp ecosystem on the north side of Peter’s Mountain in Wayne Township. However, that swamp system extends well beyond what we had protected, for several miles, on a shelf of the mountain. It holds pools of water, running streams, and contributes to both a very unique plant and aquatic wildlife environment and the water quality of the Powell’s Creek, which it feeds from several locations. Now, in 2019, we are happy to have conserved significantly more of this natural landscape.

Because this dedicated landowner recognizes the immense ecological value of the property, and because of the efforts of several partners, we’ve now finalized a conservation easement on another 225 acres, including more swamp, more supporting landscape for the aquatic life there, and an almost two-mile long swath of connected habitat and forest. It is an amazing and wonderful project, and we are extremely grateful and very proud to have been able to make it happen.

This is one of those properties on which the natural resources just stack up. Along with contributing to the large-scale goal of protecting the Kittatinny Corridor for migrating raptors and songbirds, it contains habitat for unique and threatened species, both wildlife and plants. It is a Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program site, because of the species there. It provides nesting songbird habitat. It adds to the conserved portion of the swamp, and is contiguous with state gamelands, increasing the body of unbroken protected forest. And, did we mention it is beautiful? Whether you are driving in Powell’s Valley and looking at the mountainside, or walking through the property itself, it is a wild haven, beautiful from every angle.

It takes a special landowner to recognize this value, and make the effort to protect it, and to work with us through the many months it takes to do so. The project required many partners who came together, and who all share our goal of preserving high quality natural lands, especially in the mountain corridor: The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Keystone Fund made the project possible. It was preserved in part by funding from Williams in connection with the Atlantic Sunrise Project, and in partnership with the Conservation Fund. We are also grateful to The Nature Conservancy for providing stewardship funds and other support for this project. These partners sound just like names, but behind the names are many dedicated, patient and knowledgeable people, and we are very grateful to have such great friends and partners. And our own staff, consultants and volunteers spent many hours both in the field and behind the computers. We think you will agree that a project like this makes every minute worthwhile.

Manada Conservancy is a land trust dedicated to preserving the natural, historic, agricultural and scenic resources of Dauphin County through land conservation, environmental education, and community engagement.