The Nature Conservancy and Cherry Valley

 

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Monroe County, Cherry Valley is a small limestone valley draining into the Delaware River.  Known to The Nature Conservancy for two decades as a hotspot for biodiversity, The Greater Cherry Valley Area is home to at least 79 species and natural communities of concern.

The Valley's many special habitats include hillside seeps, limestone fen wetlands, and a bat hibernaculum.  Located along the northern side of the Kittatinny Ridge, it is part of a premier bird migration corridor in North America, especially for birds of prey.  Wolf Rocks, one of the most spectacular vistas along the Appalachian Trail, overlooks the Valley.

Located less than two hours by car from Philadelphia and New York City, Cherry Valley’s quiet landscape is threatened by the onrush of residential development.  Monroe County is Pennsylvania's second fastest growing county and, along with neighboring Pike County, New York City's fastest growing suburb.

Unguided development threatens the area’s ecology as well as its beauty.   The abundant, clean water supply – critical to habitat survival – is at risk, as are the vital habitat corridor links so easily severed by pavement and structures. Invasive weeds such as purple loosestrife and phragmites can quickly crowd out native species and destroy the habitat.  Swift action must be taken to ensure that the human and natural habitat can continue to thrive together.

The Nature Conservancy works to protect the critical habitat and clean abundant waters of Cherry Valley, an essential component of The Nature Conservancy's global conservation efforts. In cooperation and collaboration with neighbors and the community, The Nature Conservancy seeks to:

·         Acquire land or easements through donation or purchase from willing sellers,

·         Research requirements of the rare species,

·         Restore and manage habitat areas,

·         Rigorously monitor our conservation progress.

 

So far, The Conservancy and Pocono Heritage Land Trust have protected 628 acres of critical habitat, corridor, and buffer lands in Cherry Valley. The total cost for all 628 acres is $2.3 million. In order to move forward on additional conservation projects in the Valley, we must raise $65,000 to complete funding for these critical projects. These properties are keystones to The Conservancy's entire protection effort in this unique valley.