WeConservePA staff visited ClearWater Conservancy recently and toured the site of their soon-to-be-renovated future headquarters, a historic barn property alongside Spring Creek in Houserville, east of State College.
The property already features trails, meadows, and riparian forest, and future plans include robust refurbishment of all of those features. The physical plant redesign and renovation plans merge old with new beautifully, creating much needed space for this growing organization. ClearWater envisions these features unfolding in a place where both people and nature can connect and grow. The ClearWater Community Conservation Center, as it’s currently being called, is located in the center of the Spring Creek Watershed, where so much of the nationally-accredited land trust’s work is focused. The Center will be home to offices, gathering spaces, and outdoor demonstration areas where everyone can experience and contribute to conservation efforts relevant to the local region.
For now plans have the project construction occurring in 2024-2025, culminating with the staff moving in to the facility in early 2026. ClearWater’s Campaign to Connect is a $10 million capital campaign to connect and protect priority landscapes and streams while enhancing everyone’s appreciation and understanding of the natural world. $5 million for the campaign has been raised, with $5 million remaining to be raised during the public phase of the campaign, which was formally launched at its annual meeting and celebration event on October 21. This campaign will fund the refurbishment of the new headquarters as well as bolster endowment funding to keep ClearWater’s mission and operations going well into the future.
ClearWater is clearly making an impact for their community and region, and ready for a future of growth.
Special thanks to Deb Nardone and Andrea Murrell of ClearWater Conservancy, who contributed greatly to this report. Photographs by Robert Campbell.