French Creek State Park - Schuylkill River Greenway Connector

 

French Creek State Park - Schuylkill River Greenway Connector
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French Creek State Park - Schuylkill River Greenway Connector
French Creek State Park - Schuylkill River Greenway Connector
Project French Creek State Park - Schuylkill River Greenway Connector
Project Location Union Township, Berks County
Type of Project

Fee simple acquisition and conversion to state park lands

Status

State funds have been committed for one piece of this project; additional state and federal funding requests are pending

Total Project Cost

$5,400,000

Funds Needed

$4,200,000

Funds Raised

$1,200,000

Status

State funds have been committed for one piece of this project; additional state and federal funding requests are pending

Project Sponsors

Natural Lands Trust

Final Ownership

PA Bureau of State Parks

Project Needs

Funds are needed for the acquisition of 300 acres

Final Ownership

PA Bureau of State Parks

Project Overview

The extensive unfragmented forest lands in southeastern Berks County provide an important but threatened reserve for native flora, essential breeding areas for declining songbirds, and important cover for exceptional value watersheds. This Big Woods area also provides significant recreational destinations, including French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, as well as potential future sites for an expansive, interconnected trail system. Losses due to encroaching development are eroding this wooded holdover from an earlier era and threaten today’s vision of preserving a significant ecological and recreational greenway. Securing this land would prevent the imminent (planned) development of important habitat buffer lands and create a 300 acre addition to French Creek State Park.

Project Benefits

Successful completion of this project will protect and restore important habitat, increase state park lands, and secure a priority trail connector site. Upon purchase, the lands will be turned over to the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks for incorporation into French Creek State Park. An important new trail segment from the Park to the Schuylkill River Trail is envisioned on this site. Future management of this land will address multiple habitat objectives. Key acreage of mature woodlands will be preserved, protecting the ecological integrity of threatened Hopewell Big Woods forest lands. In addition, a significant habitat restoration effort will be undertaken on land now in farming use; this will restore important native meadow habitats which are rapidly disappearing from the region.