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 firstname.lastname@example.org/814-237-0400.