PA/DE 2020 Impact Report
A look back at conservation successes and where our work is headed in the coming year.
Despite a year that was anything but normal, we have many accomplishments in Pennsylvania and Delaware to celebrate and share. Explore the video and stories below to learn how we’re tackling some of the toughest challenges facing people and nature today.
From the Director: Hope, Optimism and Resilience
2020 was a tumultuous year as we navigated the global pandemic, extreme political divisions and glaring illustrations of racial injustice. Yet through this, we have seen that our work, our teams and our planet are incredibly resilient, and I enter this new year with hope and optimism. I wish you—the dedicated supporters of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Pennsylvania and Delaware—have weathered these storms well enough and potentially emerged even stronger with a renewed sense of a brighter future.
Despite all these challenges, we have many accomplishments to share from last year. At the beginning of 2020, TNC merged the Delaware and Pennsylvania chapters to have a greater impact on people and nature in our region. We know that rivers, forests and the wildlife that call them home do not abide by our geographic borders. Large-scale conservation efforts require working across our human-made borders, economic sectors and political aisles, which we continue to do with the greatest possible efficiency.
Perhaps the most exciting announcement is that we have completed a once in a lifetime accomplishment with the purchase of the roughly 1,100-acre parcel of forest adjacent to our existing Cove Mountain Preserve, which has quadrupled the property size. The Cove Mountain Preserve expansion has now created a contiguous 14-mile corridor of protected lands across the Kittatinny Ridgeconnecting the preserve to state game lands and TNC easements conserving a corridor of global significance and a place for wildlife to move in response to a changing climate.
TNC is tackling some of the toughest challenges facing people and nature today. Now is the time to work together to dramatically decrease the rate of biodiversity loss and drastically cut carbon emissions—the health of our planet depends on it. The work highlighted in this report would not have been possible without your help, and we are truly thankful.
2020 Impact Report: What's Inside
From western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Front, to the Poconos in the northeast, TNC works with a variety of partners to improve and maintain forests around the state.
In spite of delays due to COVID-19, we completed our first carbon inventory at our West Branch Preserve, situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s High Allegheny Plateau. Explore PA's healthy forests.
Supporting Regenerative Agriculture
Supporting Farmers in PA
TNC works with a network of partners in the PA 4R Alliance to provide education and technical assistance to farmers that are implementing advanced nutrient stewardship practices on their farms. Contributing to clean water success.
Building Healthy Cities
TNC's urban conservation initiatives are mainstreaming nature-based solutions to help transform city landscapes and livelihoods for the benefit of nature and people.
To address water quality issues, TNC is partnering with private community-based landowners to design and implement tree trenches, rain gardens, and bioswales to filter stormwater, restore urban habitat and create new green community spaces. Tangible benefits to city landscapes.
Now nearly complete, the South Wilmington Wetland Park has re-engineered a neighborhood’s 100-year-old combined stormwater and sewage infrastructure and created a unique urban green space that serves as a model for climate resilience. Connecting people and nature.
Our Incredible Volunteers
We’re thankful for the dedicated volunteers who are willing to give their time and talents throughout the year. Despite the pandemic, 318 people in Pennsylvania and Delaware still managed to volunteer for us in 2020.
2.07 tons of trash were collected along local waterways and at TNC Preserves across Pennsylvania & Delaware during our virtual stream cleanup event in the fall. Engaging with volunteers.
Since 2016, more than 45 Stream Stewards volunteers have completed 540 hours of training and contributed over 1,000 hours of water quality monitoring. Science-based conservation.
2020 At A Glance
Kinzua Dam Adaptive Management Plan
In 2020, we completed a new, adaptive management plan for the Kinzua Dam, located on the upper Allegheny River, which will improve the operations of that dam for downstream wildlife. This work is part of a larger partnership between TNC and the Army Corps of Engineers called the Sustainable Rivers Program.
Cove Mountain Preserve Expansion
Thanks to support from the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and numerous other generous individuals, we raised enough funds to purchase the nearly 1,100-acre parcel adjacent to our existing Cove Mountain Preserve—quadrupling the size of the property. This land protection project now creates a 14-mile corridor of protected lands along the Kittatinny Ridge. Explore Cove Mountain
Alliance for Watershed Education
In 2020, Delaware Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) Fellow Charlye Stewart worked with First State National Historical Park staff and TNC to raise awareness of watershed protection efforts in the Brandywine Creek, local dam removals and the return of the American shad, a native migratory fish. Conservation's Next Generation
Delaware State Forest Expansion
In 2020, we completed the protection and transfer of 373 acres of land to the Bureau of Forestry’s Delaware State Forest located in the Pocono mountains. Along with two previous transfers—376 and 319 acres—TNC has helped expand the Delaware State Forest by a total of 1,068 acres since 2017. Expanding Public Land
Delaware Bay Migratory Songbird Research
In the spring of 2020, we announced a new 2-year research project being conducted by Delaware State University (DSU) at our Milford Neck Preserve, located along the Delaware Bay. The study aims to quantify the global importance of the Delaware Bayshore to migratory songbirds. A DSU graduate student caught birds during the spring and fall migrations, recorded data and banded them before release. This grant was funded by Delaware Sea Grant. Learn More About the Research