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The Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor is one of the last remaining natural connections allowing free passage of wildlife between State Game Lands 176 and Bald Eagle Mountain. The corridor is forever protected through a joint public/private partnership between ClearWater Conservancy, Halfmoon Township Open Space Preservation Program, County Planning and Community Development Office, and private donors. The Scotia Barrens and Bald Eagle Mountain are both designated “Important Bird Areas” and “Important Mammal Areas” because they provide large, unique, or critical habitat for many bird and mammal species. Residential development threatens to isolate these two natural land masses from each other as well as the wildlife populations they support. The wildlife corridor provides a natural connection between two critical habitats, forever ensuring safe passage.
Directions to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor: From State College: Take US 322 West to SR 550 (Buffalo Run Road) Turn left onto SR 550 Travel 2.9 miles to Saddle Ridge Road on the left Travel Saddle Ridge Road taking first right onto Harness Downs Road Follow Harness Downs Road to its end and the parking area. The hiking trail begins in the extreme left-hand corner of the parking lot. Please note: speed limit is 25 mph on Saddle Ridge and Harness Downs Roads.’ Please be a thoughtful visitor and strictly obey the speed limit.
From Stormstown: Travel SR 550 through Stormstown, past church on Right just past Stormstown Take first Right past church onto Saddle Ridge Rd. (do not take farm lane) Travel Saddle Ridge Rd. taking first Right onto Harness Downs Rd. Follow Harness Downs Rd. to its end and the parking area. The hiking trail begins in the extreme left-hand corner of the parking lot. Please note: speed limit is 25 mph on Saddle Ridge and Harness Downs Roads! Please be a thoughtful visitor and strictly obey the speed limit.
Thank you for helping ClearWater spread the word about the Slab Cabin Run Initiative. Please share these materials via e-mail or print copies to send to your friends and neighbors. If you need additional materials or information, please email Andrea Murrell, firstname.lastname@example.org .
At its annual dinner on Tuesday, Centre Foundation awarded its Centre Inspires $100,000 grant to ClearWater Conservancy’s Centred Outdoors project.
Centred Outdoors is designed to help engage people in the natural world through guided outings at various Centre County destinations, according to a press release from ClearWater Conservancy.
“This year, the Centre Inspires granting cycle was focused on community engagement through the environment around us,” Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation’s executive director, said in a press release from the foundation. “This program encourages collaboration among different sectors in Centre County in an effort to transform an element of our area.”
The effort is in collaboration with the Mount Nittany Health System, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Mount Nittany Conservancy and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
The initiative will feature the launch of summer 2017 Centred Outdoors Challenge, according to the release from ClearWater. The family-friendly fitness challenge will promote exploration at eight Centre County destinations, including Mount Nittany, The Arboretum at Penn State, Spring Creek Canyon Trail, Millbrook Marsh, the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor/Scotia Gamelands, Black Moshannon and Bald Eagle State Park and the Penns Creek Canyon Corridor and Talleyrand Park.
ClearWater will also partner with Mount Nittany Health System and Centre Moves to launch the Prescription ParRx program, where physicians will write prescriptions for time outdoors at the eight destinations, according to ClearWater’s release.
According to ClearWater’s release, the Penn State Sustainable Communities Collaborative, Mount Nittany Conservancy, Penns Valley Conservation Association and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center will help lead guided outings each weekend during the summer.
“We know that spending time outside is good for your mind, body and soul. Getting outdoors is also good for conservation, helping build a love of place and a population that desires to protect it. We’re excited to help Centre County residents explore the dynamic environment in their very own backyard,” according to ClearWater’s release.
STATE COLLEGE, PA-ClearWater Conservancy, a nationally-accredited land trust organization serving Centre and surrounding counties, announces today that the organization will be undergoing a year-long, $2.75 million fundraising effort to permanently and proactively conserve 300 acres of agricultural land owned by the Meyer and Everhart families of State College in the interest of source water protection, restoring Slab Cabin Run, and preserving iconic farmland that produces dairy goods for the Meyer Dairy Store.
The 300 acres of property the organization aims to conserve is situated in College and Harris Townships, immediately outside of the regional growth boundary. A portion of the land is visible from University Drive Extension off South Atherton Street near Foxdale Village and the State College Friends School. The land lies in a vital portion of the Spring Creek Watershed, within the Source Water Protection Area for the Harter-Thomas wells which supply the majority of the drinking water to Centre Region residents.
“Our community and our environment will mutually benefit from this effort, protecting our drinking water supply, restoring the degraded trout stream that is Slab Cabin Run and permanently preserving scenic farmland as a reminder of the modest, hard-working values that make up our rich agricultural history.” stated Andy Warner, President of ClearWater Conservancy’s Board.
ClearWater Conservancy has been working on efforts to protect drinking water supplies in the region for the last decade. This project, known as the Slab Cabin Run Initiative, continues the Conservancy’s scientific and strategic approach to watershed conservation and proactive source water protection. The organization had recent success with conserving 705-acres of land through the Musser Gap Conservation Area.
The $2.75 million project is the largest financial undertaking in ClearWater’s 35 year history. The organization will seek 50% support from local municipal partners and 50% from business owners and private donors to reach its funding goal by September 30, 2017. Upon completion of the project, land conservation of 300 acres will result in Meyer Dairy Partnership owning both farms and ClearWater Conservancy holding perpetual conservation easements on both farms. The conservation easement is a legally binding encumbrance on the property deed, ensuring protection of the farmland and stream corridor forever.
Joe Meyer, the 93 year-old owner of Meyer Dairy explained his and his son Denny’s enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Over the years, many people have come to us with interest in our land. We think a lot of people will be satisfied with this decision.”
“ClearWater Conservancy is honored that the Meyer and Everhart families see the benefit to preserving their property for future generations and have agreed to partner with us in order to conserve, restore, and protect this iconic Central Pennsylvania farmland, ” said Deborah Nardone, executive director of ClearWater Conservancy.
The organization will formally announce the Slab Cabin Run Initiative this evening during their Annual Member Meeting. For more information about the Slab Cabin Run Initiative and for information regarding donations, visit www.clearwaterconservancy.org/slabcabinrun or contact ClearWater Conservancy directly at email@example.com/814-237-0400.
ClearWater Conservancy lost a great friend and an inspiring leader when Don Hamer died on July 12, 2016, at the age of 90.
The founder and chairman of State of the Art, Inc., the State College company known internationally for manufacturing highly reliable microelectronic components, Don served for 20 years on the ClearWater Conservancy board of directors and was the board president from 1992 to 95. He brought both a passion for conservation and the practical sensibilities of an engineer and businessman to his work with ClearWater, and his leadership and support was instrumental in protecting and conserving such local treasures as Millbrook Marsh and Spring Creek Canyon.
“Don was of the mind that conservation was good business, that the apparent divide between business and conservation could be bridged,” says former ClearWater Executive Director Jennifer Shuey. “I think his influence is why ClearWater today is still so centrist—and so successful–as an organization: he helped us recognize the need to draw people into conversation who might not seem, at first, to share a common goal.”
ClearWater board member Dan Crust agrees. “In the early days ClearWater was mostly reacting against proposed developments,” he says. “Don saw a bigger vision: to work constructively with government agencies and private developers, to realize you can’t save everything, and to commit to protecting the most important things.”
Don Hamer grew up in Illinois and was the first in his family to earn a college degree. After serving in the Navy, he came to State College in 1963 for a job with Erie Technological Products, and stayed, making Central Pennsylvania his home for the rest of his life. The business he launched in 1969 was extremely successful—State of the Art today is the leading American supplier of the high reliability resistors used in the biomedical, communications, and the aerospace and defense industries.
With success, Don continued to live modestly and made philanthropy a priority. He created the Hamer Foundation, which supported not just ClearWater but dozens of organizations, mostly conservation and education causes. In a 2015 interview with the Centre Daily Times, he said “It’s a way of making me feel good. If you’ve got this much money, do something good with it, rather than just keep it.
If a practical, realistic approach to conservation is one of Don’s main legacies to ClearWater, another is how he moved the organization to focus on protecting Spring Creek. “In the 1990s he funded two landmark studies of the Spring Creek Watershed, identifying the things that need to be saved,” says Barbara Fisher, one of ClearWater’s founding members. “Those studies still guide ClearWater’s work today.”
A third legacy to ClearWater is the Don Hamer Land Conservation Fund—and here, as elsewhere, Don was thinking strategically. “He emphatically did not want to fund staff time or endowments,” Shuey remembers. “He wanted to see us carry out important projects. And he would challenge us to leverage his support–he was always thinking of the organization’s growth and development and how he could help make us stronger along the way.
Friends say one of Hamer’s proudest achievements is that resistors from State of the Art were used in NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft, launched in 1977…and are still going strong nearly 40 years (and 20 billion kilometers of space travel) later.
Here at ClearWater, we’re deeply grateful for Don’s vision, leadership, drive, and support. We are proud of the accomplishments in conservation he has helped to make possible. We’ve been around almost as long as Voyager (35 years), we’re in the process of planning for the next 35. . . and we’re certain that Don Hamer’s contributions to conservation here in Central Pennsylvania will be even more spectacularly enduring.
(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) ClearWater Conservancy awarded $14,743 in funding through its “Connections” program for 2,021 students attending public and private schools in central Pennsylvania to take part in field trips this spring to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College.
ClearWater’s long-standing “Students-Communities-Streams-Connections” program pays for transportation and admission to the nature center. At Millbrook Marsh, the children will learn about their local natural environment through interactive and hands-on outdoor activities and experiments. In all, the program has sponsored 22,479 student visits since 2000.
(STATE COLLEGE) Anyone interested in improving their yard or small acreage lot for the benefit of humans, flora and fauna will not want to miss the fourth in the “Woods in Your Backyard” series of programs to be held in State College.
Woods in Your Backyard: Creating Healthy Habitats for People, Plants, and Wildlife will be held Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Forest Resources Building Auditorium, Penn State University Park, PA.
The program is sponsored by Forests for the Bay, Penn State Extension and ClearWater Conservancy.