by Joan Smedinghoff
June 09, 2018
Two visitors take a break with their dog at Tucquan Glen in Lancaster County, Pa. Tucquan Glen is one of more than 40 preserves run by the Lancaster County Conservancy. Founded in 1969, the conservancy’s mission is to preserve wild and forested land in the county and clean water for the community. Over the course of nearly 50 years, the conservancy has acquired more than 5,000 acres of nature preserves and protected an additional 900 acres through conservation easements.
Lancaster County, like many counties in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is expected to increase in population over the next two decades. As more people move into an area, more land is cleared for the development of roads, homes and businesses. Forests, farms and other valuable landscapes turn into subdivisions, shopping centers and parking lots, impacting the health of our rivers and streams.
The development and land conversion this growth implies are among the top stressors the Bay ecosystem will face, and are threats to its restoration and protection. Changes in land use and development can impair water quality, degrade habitats and alter culturally significant landscapes.
One way to combat the loss of forests, wetlands and other habitats is to permanently protect these lands from development. In the 2014 Watershed Agreement, Chesapeake Bay Program partners committed to protecting an additional two million acres of lands throughout the watershed, including 225,000 acres of wetlands and 695,000 acres of forest land.
Visit a preserve in Lancaster County.