Central Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, charitable organization with a mission to acquire, preserve, and protect local land and natural resources in South-Central Pennsylvania. Active for over 35 years, the organization serves as the local land trust for a 5-county region (Cumberland, Franklin, Perry, Dauphin, Juniata Counties), plus Northern York County. View our interactive map!
Our vision is to create a local network of permanently protected and preserved lands by fostering a community committed to conservation and acquiring key lands and easements.
How did our organization get started?
It’s a good story, and we’re proud to say it reflects our values even today!
CPC started as a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens, sportsmen, and naturalists who mobilized a recycling program to raise money to save Stony Creek Valley. Originally named the Stony Creek Valley Coalition, the group was successful in opposing PPL’s efforts to construct a hydroelectric facility that would flood the valley and destroy important habitat and recreation areas just 10 miles north of Harrisburg. It took several years, but the effort stopped the plans as well as pressed for the designation of Stony Creek as the first protected waterway in the Pennsylvania Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Stony Creek Valley, also referred to as St. Anthony’s Wilderness, is now managed by the PA Game Commission and consists of 18,000 acres.
After this victory, members of the Stony Creek Valley Coalition remained together and incorporated as the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1982. While focused at first on recycling efforts, members of CPC became increasingly more aware of the need for a regional open space preservation program or a local land trust to counter rapid, unplanned sprawl development and save important natural areas before it was too late.
Since then, CPC expanded its land protection efforts to permanently protect over 6,500 acres of land, including 30 easements and 5 natural preserves, utilizing tools such as fee acquisition of land, conservation easements, and transfer acquisitions where we raise funds for the purchase of additions to State Game Lands, State Forests, or DCNR Conservation Areas, for the purpose of then conveying the land over to the state agency for management and stewardship. CPC continues these efforts today, and is joined by many partner organizations with overlapping missions who help broaden the impact of our mission.