This post adapted from a press release written by Manada Conservancy staff.
If you are hiking the Horse-Shoe Trail through Manada Conservancy’s newest preserve in late spring or early summer, you might hear the flute-like call of the Wood Thrush, or you might enjoy the feathery branches of the hemlocks you pass through the woods. But even in the winter, it is a beautiful landscape.
This preserve was recently acquired through the work of many partners. The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation (WBWF) first obtained it through the Fort Indiantown Gap Army Compatible Use Buffer program (ACUB). WBWF was able to donate it to Manada Conservancy because of the property’s high value to the community. It is traversed by the historic Horse-Shoe Trail, a 140-mile hiking and equestrian trail that begins at Valley Forge and terminates at its intersection with the Appalachian trail in northern East Hanover Township. During the transaction, Manada Conservancy granted the Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy a permanent trail easement across the property.
The 40-acre preserve is also right along the Kittatinny Ridge (which some call First or Blue Mountain), a globally Important Bird Area, because it is a major migration route for raptors and songbirds. This property helps to protect the unbroken forested mountain ridge so wildlife can move safely and feed and rest on their long journeys. It is also important to all of us for its contribution to clean water, carbon sequestration, and climate resiliency.
Manada Conservancy formally expressed gratitude to their major project partners at WBWF, Fort Indiantown Gap, and the Pennsylvania Society of Ornithology (which, through its Breeding Bird Blitz, helped with the transaction costs for this project), as well as to the Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy. Each of these partners adds to the positive results of this conservation project. Manada Conservancy also acknowledged members and donors who have contributed to their Pathway to Preservation fund, which helped close out transaction costs.