Evening on the Letort
Greetings from Central PA Conservancy!

Have you noticed any changes happening in the world around you?
Around here, skunk cabbage has started to peek through the wetland soils, the distinctive 'peent' breeding call of the American Woodcock can be heard as dusk fades to night like the photo above, and the sap of maples flows into collection buckets when the nights are cold and the days are warm. With less than three weeks to go until the equinox on March 20, the signs that spring is gearing up for its seasonal show of abundance are undeniable. We're looking forward to watching the world reveal its magic and hope you'll join us in protecting and stewarding the special places where it does!
What's Happening at CPC?
Bears hibernate in the winter, CPC doesn't! We've been busy conducting all manner of land-saving and tending operations during these chilly months, which has resulted in efforts we can all be proud of.

On the financial front, CPC was awarded $25,000 by PPL Foundation for activities at the Letort Spring Garden Preserve and $25,000 by Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Wild East Action Fund for the protection of Camp Tuckahoe in South Mountain. We released our 2021 Annual Report at the end of last year, and finished the 2021 property monitoring season. The restoration of the springhouse and barn is almost complete, thanks to the hard work of Sam and Patrick McKinney. The final steps of painting and gutter installation are scheduled for May 2022. The Letort Spring Garden Preserve has received a lot of love thanks to the efforts of committed volunteers. Together, they recently removed nearly the last of the invasive cattail seedheads, supported prescribed burning efforts to prepare land for native wildflower plantings, collected many pounds of trash, and continued to build a strong community of conservationists! If you're interested in gaining new skills, meeting caring new folks, and doing right by our planet, we'd love for you to join us.
Fill out this form here if volunteering with CPC appeals to you; we have opportunities for everyone!
Project Spotlight: Amberson Easement
The protected ecological corridor that is the Kittatinny Ridge is about to get 92 acres bigger! CPC was awarded a grant in January from PA DCNR's Community Conservation Partnerships Program for the purchase of a forest easement in the Amerberson Valley of the Kittatinny Ridge that includes the Tuscarora Trail, the intersection with Catholic Path, and adjoins state forest land in Franklin County. In our second ever purchased conservation easement, CPC has recently applied for the remaining easement value from our partners at NRCS through the RCPP-Kittatinny-forest easements program. We are excited to complete this first of three easements that CPC has committed to as a participating land trust partner within this program. Several other priority properties on the Kittatinny Ridge in our service area are being considered as prospective projects by CPC's Land Protection Committee.
Save the Date for a June 12th
Paint-Out Event at the Letort with
Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters
CPC and Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters are partnering on a fun springtime plein air painting event at the Letort Spring Garden Preserve! Please save the date to attend on Sunday, June 12th from 12-3 pm. Further details on registration fees and event logistics are forthcoming! All CPC members and volunteers are invited to attend to enjoy a lovely spring walk to view artists in action, followed by a gallery show, food trucks, and entertainment. We look forward to bringing folks together for this fundraising event, and we especially thank participating artists for donating sale proceeds to support CPC's mission of land protection and stewardship.
Fort Halifax Park Receives Dauphin County Grant Award!
CPC Congratulates Halifax Township the Friends of Fort Halifax Park for a successful grant application to the Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board. Dauphin County recently announced grant awards, which can be viewed in an article from The Burg: Article

Fort Halifax Park is a historically significant, regional park consisting of 174 acres, owned by Halifax Township subject to a conservation easement held by CPC. Its boundaries include significant frontage along the Susquehanna River and Armstrong Creek. The grant proposal was the result of a process whereby key stakeholders, including Halifax Township, Friends of Fort Halifax Park, Preservation Pennsylvania, and CPC met several times to help set priorities for Halifax Township's proposal to Dauphin County. This work, funded at $100,000, will drastically improve access and safety to the park and also provide a professional assessment for adaptive reuse of the historic structures to advance the future vision and goals for Fort Halifax Park. CPC will stay involved as a stakeholder in this effort, and we look forward to seeing how this project sets the stage for further investments in Fort Halifax Park.
Spring Planting Season is Almost Here! Plant Natives!
Soils are warming up and becoming workable, which means if you haven't already, it's time to make a plan to plant! This season, consider the benefits of planting native species. According to Penn State Extension, they are well-adapted to our climate, are easy to care for, and help preserve crucial biodiversity. Development of land with natural resource value continues to eliminate crucial habitat for native species, which creates a devastating domino effect on the stability and well-being of our ecosystems.

Recent research from Dr. Doug Tallamy of the University of Delaware has determined that 90 percent of our native insects are specialists that feed on three or fewer families of plants. The insects rely on native plant hosts and cannot eat the exotic plants that have become common in our yards. A reduction of native insects means that birds have fewer insects to feed to their young, and that will lead to a reduction of bird species. The world as we know and love it cannot function without the ecosystem services these species provide, and it is up to us to protect them.

The ecological choices we make now will determine what kind of future awaits us all. We encourage you to choose a future of ecological resilience and select native plants! Check our upcoming events below for local native plant sales events with some of our partner organizations.
Upcoming Events
  • DEP Regional State Water Plan Update Hearings (virtual and in-person) - March 11, Lower Susquehanna Regional Committee from 10-11 am. More information here

  • Keystone Trails Association Trail Care 101 Leadership Workshop in Arendtsville, PA on March 25-27 Sign-up here

  • Wildwood Park Wetlands Festival - Saturday, April 23 from 10-4 at Wildwood Park in Harrisburg.

  • South Mountain Science Summit - Friday, April 29 from 12:30-6:30 Register for free here.

  • Cumberland County Master Gardeners Plant Festival and Sale on Saturday, May 21 from 8 am-1 pm details here: 2022 Plant Fest and Sale

  • CPC's 2022 Ironmaster's Challenge 50k and 15k Trail Event will take place on Sunday, September 25, and registration is now open at Please join us for our 13th annual fundraiser to support the mission and projects of CPC!

 Saturday, April 23 from 10:00am - 4:00pm