On October 28, ClearWater Conservancy officially began a yearlong, $2.75 million campaign to permanently preserve 300 acres of agricultural land in College and Harris Townships.
This initiative includes farmland that produces dairy goods for Meyer Dairy as well as the Everhart Farm. The effort aims to protect source water, restore Slab Cabin Run, and preserve the Meyer and Everhart lands. The 300 acres, located immediately outside the State College regional growth boundaries, are situated in the Source Water Protection Area for the Harter-Thomas wells, which supply much of the region’s drinking water and are located downhill from the Meyer and Everhart properties.
“Our community and our environment will mutually benefit from this effort,” said ClearWater Conservancy president Andy Warner. “It will protect our drinking water supply, restore the degraded trout stream that is Slab Cabin Run, and permanently preserve scenic farmland as a reminder of the modest, hard-working values that make up our rich agricultural history.”
Slab Cabin Run, which begins at Tussey mountain and feeds into Spring Creek, flows through the Meyer and Everhart farms. The stream has been degraded by the growth of land development and accompanying impervious ground cover like parking lots, sidewalks, and roads.
The fundraising effort is the largest in ClearWater Conservancy’s 35-year history. The land trust is seeking 50% support from local municipal partners and 50% from businesses and private donors by September 2017. The initiative was announced at ClearWater’s annual member meeting.
Once completed, the properties would be owned by Meyer Dairy Partnership, while ClearWater would hold perpetual conservation easements on both, ensuring the protection of the land and stream corridor into the future.
“Over the years, many people have come to us with interest in our land,” said Joe Meyer, owner of Meyer Dairy. “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 of 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.
Learn more at the ClearWater Conservancy website.