Research + Education

Learn What it Takes to Sustain our Ecology.

Photo: Bill Moses

2018 - 2019 Kittatinny Mini-Grant Program (Next Round TBA Fall 2018)

The Kittatinny Coalition announces the availability of mini-grants to support native wildlife and habitat on the Kittatinny Ridge. The mini-grant program supports two goals of the Coalition: 1) to conserve the mosaic of habitats that support species diversity, and 2) to promote the scientific study of the Ridge and facilitate the exchange of information regarding habitats, wildlife, conservation management activities, history and human communities to support and inform all other goals of the Coalition.

Four categories of projects will be considered for grant funding, as more fully described in the application guidelines, linked below.

CATEGORY 1: HABITAT
Carry out research or restoration efforts aimed at understanding, creating and/or maintaining high quality native habitat along the Ridge. Focus may pertain to species of special concern, rare or exemplary natural communities, climate change resiliency, the creation/restoration of a mosaic of ecologically functional habitat, invasive species management, and similar projects in line with the goals of the Kittatinny Coalition.

CATEGORY 2: PENNSYLVANIA WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN
Carry out research, monitoring, habitat assessments or restoration directly benefiting highest priority Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) as identified by the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan.

Included with the application packet is a list of SGCN that the Coalition is focusing on in 2018 – 2019. Research and survey needs for SGCN can be found in the Wildlife Action Plan species accounts (Appendix 1.4 – birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and threatened or endangered mussels. Other invertebrate SGCN actions can be found in Appendix 1.1), which applicants are encouraged to reference in their proposal development.

CATEGORY 3:  WATER
Study the role of the Ridge and its natural resources in protecting headwater sources and public water.  Investigate the dependency and degree to which Ridge water is utilized for public drinking water. Implement local watershed protection and restoration plans along the Ridge. Implement Cold Water Conservation Plan recommendations that benefit the Ridge. See the PA Coldwater Heritage Partnership website.

CATEGORY 4:  EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Design and implement programs to educate communities along the Ridge about the benefits the Ridge provides.  Focus could be ecosystem services, economic services, health and wellness benefits, and similar projects in line with the goals of the Kittatinny Coalition.

The 2018 – 2019 grant round opens April 6, 2018, and applications are due by 5:00 pm May 31, 2018. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations with tax-exempt status 501(c)(3), municipalities, counties, and educational institutions. Grants up to $10,000 will be awarded and require a 1:1 local match in the form of cash and/or eligible non-cash (in-kind) services. Projects must be located within the Kittatinny Ridge Corridor. See map included in application guidelines.

MINI-GRANT PROGRAM DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE HERE:
GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONS
APPLICATION
SPECIES OF GREATEST CONSERVATION NEED
MATCH RECORDING AND REPORTING
IN-KIND CONTRIBUTION FORM
INTERIM PROGRESS REPORT
SUCCESS STORY TEMPLATE

The Kittatinny project, including this mini-grant program, is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) through DCNR’s Environmental Stewardship Fund administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.  The DCNR grant is administered by the Kittatinny Coalition through Audubon Pennsylvania. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Jeanne Ortiz at jortiz@audubon.org.

Publications and Reports

ANNUAL MEETING PRESENTATIONS (November 16, 2017)
Audubon Pennsylvania:  The Atlantic Flyway
Our Neighbor:  The South Mountain Partnership
PA Game Commission and PA Fish and Boat Commission:  State Wildlife Action Plan
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary:  Broad-winged Hawk and Goshawk Research Projects
Trout Unlimited:  Pipeline Assessment and Stream Assessment Results
Fort Indiantown Gap:  Herps of the Kittatinny Ridge
Appalachian Trail Conservancy:  Municipal Outreach Results and Return on Environment Studies

KITTATINNY RIDGE IBA REPORT

STATE OF THE KITTATINNY RIDGE REPORTS
The Kittatinny Coaltion strives to conserve this critical Pennsylvania landscape.  The State of the Kittatinny report regularly documents Coalition partners’ successes and challenges facing the Ridge.
2011
2012
2013 and 2014
2015

RETURN ON ENVIRONMENT REPORTS

BERKS COUNTY
In a 2010 Knight Foundation/Gallup study, aesthetics such as the physical beauty of a community—including the availability of parks and green spaces—are consistently listed as 1 of 4 factors why people are attached to their local community. The study also found that there is a positive correlation between community attachment and the local GDP (gross domestic product) growth. This is a key metric in assessing community success because local GDP  growth not only measures a community’s economic success, but also its ability to grow and meet the residents’ needs. The community’s most attached residents have strong pride in it, a positive outlook on the community’s future, and a sense that it is the perfect place for them. The Business of Nature is intended to raise awareness and appreciation of the exceptional natural resources in Berks County, PA, and to stimulate action and discussion to protect these resources.

CARBON COUNTY
Full Report
Brochure
Fact Sheet

CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Summary Booklet
Fact Sheet

DAUPHIN COUNTY
Full Report
Summary Booklet
Fact sheet

LEHIGH VALLEY
The Lehigh Valley is a special place with its scenic mountains and farmland views, river corridors, pristine groundwater and large forest habitat.  These features along with the opportunities provided by growth in the region are the foundation for a strong economy and high quality of life.  A strong economy compared to environmental protection is not an “either/or” choice.  This report explains why a strong economy requires plenty of connected, accessible open space and a healthy environment.

CONSERVATION PLAN FOR THE KITTATINNY RIDGE
The Conservation Plan is an overview of what is currently known about the cultural and natural resources of the Kittatinny Ridge through Pennsylvania, and recommends strategies and priorities for protecting the Ridge and Corridor for people and for ecological integrity.

A SURVEY OF CERULEAN WARBLERS AND OTHER PRIORITY FOREST BIRDS OF THE KITTATINNY IBA
The Environmental Studies Department at Gettysburg College completed a bird survey along the Kittatinny Ridge in 2013.  The aim of the study was to supplement the 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas data for interior forests by conducting bird surveys along off-road trails.  Data from 2nd PBBA and 2013 were used to assess the abundance of Cerulean Warblers within the Kittatinny Ridge Important Bird Area.  Population estimates contributed to the designation of the Kittatinny as a Global Important Bird Area.  This document presents the results of the study.

KEY FINDINGS 2014 HABITAT SURVEY
In 2014, professors from Moravian College and East Stroudsburg University and students piloted a habitat survey of the Kittatinny Ridge from Monroe to Berks counties.  The study had four goals:  to garner information about the ecological value of the Ridge, survey and digitally document habitat quality, survey key avian species which may serve as indicators for forest habitat integrity, and gather baseline data for climate change impacts on the Ridge.  This report documents their key findings.

SCIENCE SUMMITS
Since 2012 the Lehigh Gap Nature Center has organized and hosted annual Science Summits, gathering people to share scientific knowledge about the Kittatinny and identify areas where more research is needed. Proceedings from the Summits are available below.
2012
2013
2014

VOLUME I:  ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE KITTATINNY RIDGE
VOLUME II:  ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE KITTATINNY RIDGE

KITTATINNY RIDGE INFORMATIONAL POSTER

KITTATINNY WATER BUDGET
Water coming off of the Kittatinny Ridge is exceptional.  Forests make up 95% of the land cover along the Ridge, infiltrating approximately 10% of rainwater in 12 counties.  The water is continuously pristine due to the forests’ ability to filter water and act like a sponge.  When rainwater runs through these forests, the Ridge produces clean water, habitat, and stream flow.  Without its forest cover, what would happen to numerous streams, 13 lakes, 11,000 farms, and hundreds of permitted point sources meeting TMDL regulations?

Summit Stories

The Kittatinny Ridge can Easily get Taken for Granted, but for Those Who Live Near it, Its Presence Seems More Than Just a Backdrop. Most People Just Refer to it as "The Mountain."

Unknown / Delaware Water Gap, PA