This treasured pocket of the South Mountain landscape, adjacent to Kings Gap State Park and Environmental Education Center, serves as a demonstration site for The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to conserve the area’s unique natural heritage, especially vernal pools—temporary springtime wetlands that host and nourish globally rare salamanders, frogs and other woodland species before drying up by summertime. Using science, TNC, together with our partners at the state park and several local landowners, are working to safeguard these habitats that are so vital to the health and natural heritage of this Central Pennsylvania landscape.
Threats to This Preserve
Lost or and compromised habitat, invasive species and illegal trespassing activities such as trash dumping and ATVs. Also, while soil pH has remained steady for more than two decades, acid rain or any other source of additional alkalinity could jeopardize the area’s fragile habitat.
Milestones at This Preserve
In the 1970s, TNC acquired the land that was eventually transferred to the state of Pennsylvania to become the current Kings Gap State Park and Environmental Education Center. Later, in 2007, TNC acquired an adjacent parcel that today comprises the Forest Pools Preserve. Since then, TNC has worked closely with the state park and other partners to identify vernal pools for protection and restoration, and implement additional conservation strategies to benefit the health of the surrounding forest.