Mission: The mission of wildlands conservancy is to protect and restore critical natural areas and waterways, and educate the community to create a legacy of a healthy, sustainable environment for future generations.
Programs: Conservation: wildlands conservancy's conservation strategies include land planning and acquisition, stream restoration and habitat stewardship activities. Wildlands made notable trail and land protection advancements last year. Acquired 72 acres of woodlands and wetlands situated in tobyhanna township, monroe county for incorpation into wildlands' 1,300-acre thomas darling preserve. Transferred 46 acres situated along the kittantinny ridge (blue mountain) to the united states fish and wildlife services for the expansion of the cherry valley national wildlife refuge. Completed the lehigh valley trail gap study to identify the top 10 trail gaps in the lehigh valley. In the stewardship realm, wildlands forwarded efforts focused on stream restoration, habitat restoration and watershed planning:completed natural restoration of monocacy park at illicks mill, as well as the monocacy watershed assessement and conservation management plan. Completed the lehigh river watershed conservation management plan, an update of the plan that was originally compiled in 2003. Led a large-scale effort across 10 community sites in the lehigh valley to plant riparian buffers, streamside strips of native trees and plants. Advanced the natural restoration of the jordan, saucona dn little lehigh creeks through dam removals. Advanced the natural restoration of the tunkhannock creek as it flows through wildlands' 680-arce, pocono-based maple tract preserve. Continued stewardship management of lehigh county's 1,800-acre trexler nature preserve, including the removal of 200 acres of invasive autumn olive on the north range and the production of new signage for 20+ kiosks.
education: in 2017, more than 19,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12 benefited from wildlands' environmental education programs that are tied to pennsylvania's standards for environment and ecology. More than 630 community education programs connected families and individuals with local, natural areas, including pool wildlife sanctuary, south mountain preserve, trexler nature preserve and the lehigh river. Summer camp was offered for a second year in bethlehem and easton. Overall, summer camp had more than 850 children attending across three sites, emmaus, bethlehem and easton. Bike & boat adventures hosted more than 1,700 individuals. Wildlands "wild about learning," a nature-based education program focused on first graders in 14 priority schools identified by united way of the greater lehigh valley, recevied the pennsylvania association of envuronmental educators' (paee) outstanding environmental education program award. The program combines hands-on discovery, experiences with wildlife education animals and nature-themed books to improve reading skills. Finishing out its fourth year, the program reached 400 students.
Wildlands Conservancy became an accredited land trust February 2019, a status that can be renewed every five years. Accreditation means Wildlands Conservancy meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Wildlands Conservancy demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate the commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. To learn more about land trust accreditation and the current accreditation status of Wildlands Conservancy, visit http//www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.