Lackawanna Valley Conservancy
Mission or Purpose
The LVC raises private funds through donations and matches state grants to fund purchases. Land purchases can occur through charitable contributions of property by landowners and by purchasing land from willing sellers. Another way the LVC acquires property is through a partial interest, legally known as a Conservation Easement. This device allows a conservation-minded property owner to maintain their ownership of a property but convey the right to develop the property to a Conservancy. The property is permanently protected, which means future owners cannot develop the land.
In addition to acquiring land, the LVC also grants easements to public agencies. For example, the LVC acquired and cleaned up several sections of abandoned railroad property along the Lackawanna River. Then, the LVC donated easements to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA). The LHVA then secures state and federal funding to develop these properties with trails and other improvements.
Furthermore, the LVC seeks to acquire vulnerable and prominent properties in the Lackawanna River Watershed. Such properties include lands adjacent to the river and trail system, abandoned mine land, and other property that may have environmental problems. Upon acquisition, the LVC cleans up these properties in collaboration with local municipalities and adjacent property owners.
Since 1995, the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy has acquired twenty properties totaling over 200 acres along the Lackawanna River, on Moosic Mountain and around the North Pocono area. Some of our properties are not typically open for public access. They are maintained primarily as conservation land. However, properties located on and along the river, adjacent to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, receive a lot of visitors.