NORTHAMPTON AND MONROE COUNTIES, Pa. – With support from the Open Space Institute (OSI), the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is celebrating the completion of a historic project conserving 4,350 acres for wildlife habitat, water quality, and public recreational access.
The acquisition, which secures more than five miles that buffers the Appalachian Trail, was also funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the nation’s most important conservation program.
The property was selected for funding by OSI through its Delaware River Watershed Initiative, funded by the William Penn Foundation, and its Northeast Resilient Landscapes Fund, capitalized by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The newly-conserved property protects forests that filter water draining into the Delaware River. More than 15 million people rely on the river for drinking water, including residents of Philadelphia, PA, and Trenton, NJ. Additionally, the property flanks the Kittatinny Ridge, a critical north-south migration corridor for species in response to climate change.
“This project is a thrilling victory in the effort to protect the forested source waters of the greater Delaware River, and the places that will continue to provide a haven for wildlife, even as the climate changes,” said Peter Howell, executive vice president of OSI. “It also represents the latest success in a longstanding effort to protect the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. We applaud the efforts of The Conservation Fund, along with its many partners including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, in bringing this effort to fruition.”