PEC’s Northeast Office Director Janet Sweeney outlines the goals of the Pocono Forest & Waters Conservation Landscape program, while updating its recent work and new partnerships.
Pocono Forests & Waters Conservation Landscape
The Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Landscape aims to identify and protect its local and natural outdoor resources while implementing trail connections throughout the region.
The vision of the Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Landscape (PFW CL) is to protect and sustain the natural resources of the region. This region has abundant natural resources, including the greatest concentration of wetlands in the state and large tracts of public and private forested lands, such as state and national forests and parks and private hunting clubs that were established in the past and still exist today.
The public benefits from these natural lands encompass a whole host of rewards, such as a sense of community, clean water, stormwater retention, clean air, and an array of outdoor recreation activities.
The goals of the PFW CL are to identify important natural landscape areas for acquisition, easements, and other land protection measures and to engage communities to promote, enhance, and conserve local natural, cultural, and outdoor recreational resources. Additional goals are to identify and create greenway and trail connections to public lands and communities throughout the landscape.
Through this Landscape work, PEC works with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and community partners to connect State Parks and Forests to communities, connect community programs to each other, and connect citizens and visitors to the region’s abundant habitat and outdoor recreation areas. We are uniquely situated to coordinate this regional collaboration, and work is well underway.
The extraordinary partners involved in this work include regional land trusts, sportsmen groups, trail groups, municipal leaders, state agencies, and private citizens working to balance conservation and community – preserving the quality of place that those in the region hold so dear.
Follow the links below for “Success Stories” from our mini-grantees regarding their PFW CL projects funded through mini grants:
- Center Landscape Design
- Delaware Highlands Conservancy
- Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails
- Grey Towers
- Natural Lands Trust
- Rail Trail Council of NEPA
- Stroud Open Space
- Community Garden Education Center
- Wayne County Historical Society
- WB YMCA Bike Ped Count
- WB YMCA KAZ
- Western Wayne School District
- Wildlands Conservancy
Within this landscape there are three state heritage areas (two of which also have federal heritage area designation), a wild and scenic river, water trails, federal, state, and local recreation sites, national recreation trails, county conservation districts, land trusts, private resorts, and many local initiatives to build trails and preserve open space.