The LRCA incorporated the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy (LVC) on August 5, 1995, to provide the organization the capacity to acquire and manage land and water resources. The LVC functions as a Land Trust organization in the Lackawanna River Watershed (Note: the terms "Conservancy" and "Land Trust" are synonymous).
The LVC raises private funds through donations and matches state grants to fund purchases. Land purchases can occur through charitable contributions of property by landowners and by purchasing land from willing sellers. Another way the LVC acquires property is through a partial interest, legally known as a Conservation Easement. This device allows a conservation-minded property owner to maintain their ownership of a property but convey the right to develop the property to a Conservancy. The property is permanently protected, which means future owners cannot develop the land.
In addition to acquiring land, the LVC also grants easements to public agencies. For example, the LVC acquired and cleaned up several sections of abandoned railroad property along the Lackawanna River. Then, the LVC donated easements to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA). The LHVA then secures state and federal funding to develop these properties with trails and other improvements.
Furthermore, the LVC seeks to acquire vulnerable and prominent properties in the Lackawanna River Watershed. Such properties include lands adjacent to the river and trail system, abandoned mine land, and other property that may have environmental problems. Upon acquisition, the LVC cleans up these properties in collaboration with local municipalities and adjacent property owners.
Since 1995, the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy has acquired twenty properties totaling over 200 acres along the Lackawanna River, on Moosic Mountain and around the North Pocono area. A list of the LVC preserves with brief descriptions and directions is available here. Some of our properties are not typically open for public access. They are maintained primarily as conservation land. However, properties located on and along the river, adjacent to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, receive a lot of visitors.
All of our properties need the care of good stewardship. The LVC encourages interested volunteers to consider adopting one of our preserves as a Volunteer Preserve Steward. Visit our Conservation Corps page to learn more about our volunteer opportunities or call us at the LRCA/LVC office at (570) 347-6311.
The LVC is ALWAYS interested in speaking with property owners about land donations of all types. The LVC is very interested in urban and industrial /coal mine lands along the river, and any areas along tributary streams, especially Roaring Brook, Spring Brook, Leggett's Creek, Eddy Creek, Grassy Island Creek, and Racket Brook. The LVC is also interested in large tracts of ridgetop land along the Moosic and West Mountain Ranges and lands at the headwaters of the river and its tributary streams. Additionally, forested wetlands, which are critical to the conservation of the Lackawanna Watershed.
The LVC staff is available to speak with and meet property owners of these lands at all times. You may contact the LVC at 570-347-6311 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LVC collaborates with other Land Trusts in Northeast Pennsylvania. If you have land conservation interests in the Lackawanna River Watershed please contact the LVC first. If you are interested in the conservation opportunities in nearby areas, please contact a land trust close to you.
Here is a list of our neighboring Trusts and Conservancies:
1. Countryside Conservancy
2. The Nature Conservancy
3. Pennsylvania Chapter
4. The Pocono Heritage Land Trust
5. The Delaware Highlands Conservancy
6. The North Branch Land Trust
7. The Wildlands Conservancy
8. Lacawac Sanctuary
The LVC and all of our regional Conservancy partners are members of the following state and national organizations:
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA)
You can visit their websites for a larger view to the important work conservancies and trusts are doing across the Commonwealth andthe Nation.