Protected Lands

Countryside Conservancy uses two forms of protected lands: preserves and conservation easements.

  • Preserves are lands owned by the Conservancy and managed to protect their conservation values. Many of these sites are open to the public.
  • Conservation easements are legal agreements between the Conservancy and private landowners that restrict the types of subdivision, development, and activities permitted on the land. Lands protected by conservation easements remain in private ownership.

Preserves are lands owned by the Conservancy and managed to protect their conservation values. Many of these sites are open to the public.

Conservation easements are legal agreements between the Conservancy and private landowners that restrict the types of subdivision, development, and activities permitted on the land. Lands protected by conservation easements remain in private ownership.

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS

To date, Countryside Conservancy has entered into permanent legal agreements with landowners across our region to protect 882 acres of land from inappropriate development forever. Check out the properties below that have conservation easements and give us a call if you think you might want to put an easement on your property. To find out how to protect your land through a conservation easement, please follow this link.

Abington Township easement
Abington Township easement: created in 2003. A 10-acre wooded parcel with patches of forested wetland in Abington Township, Lackawanna County. The property is adjacent to several parcels recently converted to residential subdivisions in an area at high risk for development.
Belin Easement
Belin easement: created in 2007. A 31-acre conservation easement in Abington Township, Lackawanna County. This property contains forest and wetlands and protects headwaters of the Ackerly Creek as well as green views edging the Waverly Historic District.
Bidlake Easements
Bidlake easements: created in 2007. Three conservation easements based on three existing homes on a historic farmstead in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County. Protected acreage totals 62 acres and is surrounded on three sides by The Nature Conservancy’s Woodbourne Preserve.
Bohlin Easement
Bohlin easement: created in 2000. An 8-acre conservation easement on an open meadow bordered by forest and a pond that serves as an open-space resource on the edge of the village of Waverly.
Clinton Township Easement
Clinton Township easement: created in 2004. A 30-acre parcel in Clinton Township, Wyoming County. This parcel, covered by mature forest, overlooks the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek. Limited timbering is permitted under this easement through a sustainable forestry plan. All timbering is prohibited within 50 feet of the top of the creek bank.
Graff Easement
Graff Easement: created in 2007. A pair of conservation easements totaling 51 acres in Benton Township, Lackawanna County. These easements protect lands along the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek and preserve open views along both sides of Route 524. The protected lands adjoin the Conservancy’s Messimer Preserve.
Greene Easement
Greene easement: created in 2003. A conservation easement on 152 acres of farmland in Thompson Township, Susquehanna County. Half open fields and half woodlot, including a large mature sugarbush. The owners are committed to practicing sustainable forestry and agriculture.
Herrick Township Easement
Hull easement: created in 1998. Conservation easement on 124 acres of a working family tree farm in North Abington Township, Lackawanna County. The easement covers non-farmed forest areas and bottomlands of Kennedy Creek upstream from Lackawanna State Park. Much of the farmed area of the property has been placed in Agricultural Conservation Easement with the state.
LeSoine Easement
LeSoine easement: created in 2004. A conservation easement on a 116-acre former dairy farm and Christmas tree farm. This hilly property, located in Bridgewater Township, Susquehanna County, also includes man-made ponds and several open fields.
Monick Easement
Monick Easement: created 2009. A conservation easement of 7 acres in Glenburn Township, Lackawanna County. This easement preserves a highly visible piece of undeveloped green space in the middle of an area that is facing increasing suburbanization.
Müller Easement
Müller easement: created in 2005. A conservation easement of 18 acres created with DCNR support at the southwest corner of Lackawanna State Park. This easement provides new public access points to the State Park trail network and will help protect sensitive riparian lands forever.
Overfield Township Easement
Overfield Township easement: created in 2003. A 7-acre woodland and wetland parcel in Overfield Township, Wyoming County, next to the Lackawanna Audubon Society’s Davis Crossing Sanctuary. Adjacent to the former Northern Electric Railway right-of-way, with potential for development as a non-motorized recreational trail.
Rushbrooke Easement
Rushbrooke easement: created in 2001. A conservation easement on 30 acres of mature woods and open meadows, containing headwaters of Ackerly Creek. Significant frontage of mature forest on PA Route 407 in Abington Township, Lackawanna County.
Susquehanna County Easement
Susquehanna County easement: created in 2008. Established to protect a family farm on the East Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek in Susquehanna County. Protected acreage is almost 200 acres. The easement permits continued farming and timbering on much of the land, while protecting the creek and wetlands on site. Acquisition was supported by RESCUE Wayne/Susquehanna.
Wolfe Easement
Wolfe easement: created in 2004. A 3-acre parcel adjacent to the Conservancy’s Ziegler Preserve in Benton Township, Lackawanna County. This property, containing the former owner’s 1800s house and barn, and livestock shed was subdivided from the Ziegler property and sold by the Conservancy under conservation easement to ensure that future use of this land is compatible with the preserve.

PRESERVES

Countryside Conservancy owns 264 acres of lands in Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties. These preserves are managed to protect their natural conservation values, and most of them are open for public visitation from dawn to dusk year-round. Entry to Conservancy lands is free of charge. Please observe all posted signs and regulations. For an interactive map of the preserves click this link or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Fordham Preserve
Fordham Preserve: acquired in 2005. A 22-acre parcel in Benton Township, Lackawanna County. Dominated by a beaver-dammed wetland and fringing woodlands. The wetland, which supports abundant wildlife, feeds into the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek. Access by permission only.
Gateway Preserve
Gateway Preserve: acquired in 2001. A small preserve on Lily Lake Road in North Abington Township, Lackawanna County. Adjoins a larger conservation easement held by the Wildlands Conservancy.
Little Rocky Glen Preserve

Little Rocky Glen: acquired in 2004. A 26-acre property containing a spectacular sandstone gorge on the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek in Clinton Township, Wyoming County. Steep hemlock-clad slopes rise to either side of the gorge. This has historically been a popular fishing and picnicking spot; a picnic shelter was opened here in fall 2008. Open to the public dawn to dusk, April to November.
Click here to download trail map. No swimming or diving; please observe our rules and respect the site!

Meadowsweet Preserve
Meadowsweet Preserve: acquired in 2001. A 59-acre preserve fronting onto Lily Lake Road in Abington Township, Lackawanna County. Part of our Lackawanna State Park buffer project. Contains open fields, wet meadow, forested wetland and young forest. Park in the gravel parking area on Lily Lake Road to find the trailhead leading up to Quarry Ridge Preserve and Lackawanna State Park (about 1 mile one way). Click here to download a trail map.
Messimer Preserve
Messimer Preserve: acquired in 2005. A 44-acre forested creekside property on the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek in North Abington Township, Lackawanna County. Majestic woods rise on steep slopes above the creek. This preserve protects lands from near the ridgeline down to the creek to maintain water quality, stream life, and recreational opportunities, as well as Lackawanna Lake and Lackawanna State Park downstream. Access this property from Grist Mill Road; park at the designated Conservancy parking area.
Quarry Ridge Preserve
Quarry Ridge: acquired in 2000. A 30-acre preserve abutting the southeast corner of Lackawanna State Park in North Abington Township, Lackawanna County. Part of our Lackawanna State Park buffer project. A mix of woodlands and open meadows on hilly terrain. A trail constructed and maintained by Conservancy volunteers links this property and the State Park with the nearby Meadowsweet Preserve and Lily Lake Road. Click here to download a trail map.
Shepherd Preserve
Shepherd Preserve: acquired in 2007. A 42-acre forested parcel above Leggett’s Creek in the Notch, South Abington Township, Lackawanna County. This wooded property protects part of the steep, dramatic views seen every day by thousands of commuters on Interstate 81 and US Route 11. This property is not open to the public due to access and safety issues.
Trostle Pond Preserve
Trostle Pond Preserve: acquired in 2006, transferred to Lackawanna State park in 2008. Drop in on this highly scenic 34-acre parcel of fields, woods and pond on Route 407 as part of your next visit to Lackawanna State Park!
Waverly Preserve
Waverly Preserve: acquired in 2006. A 4.4-acre wooded and wetland parcel on the southern edge of Waverly in Abington Township, Lackawanna County. It is part of a 65-acre complex of Conservancy protected lands contributing to a greenbelt around the Waverly historic district.
Ziegler Preserve
Ziegler Preserve: acquired in 2003. A 29-acre property adjoining the north edge of Lackawanna State Park, part of our State Park buffer project. Mature woods and numerous old stone walls distinguish this preserve. Park at the gravel parking area on PA Route 438, 1 mile east of the Route 407 intersection, to access a mile-long hiking and mountain-biking trail which connects to Lackawanna State Park’s Bull Hill Trail.

Countryside Conservancy Preserves

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