The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania & Delaware announces acquisition and transfer of 5 acres at Boyd Big Tree Preserve

A cleared path cuts through a dense forest.
Boyd Big Tree Preserve A new acquisition links two existing sections of the Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. © Nicole Wooten/TNC

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The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Pennsylvania and Delaware today announced that it has closed on the purchase of five acres in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and transferred the parcel to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR).

The new acquisition links two existing sections of the Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 115 acres of conserved lands to the east and a 1,000-acre section to the west. The land to the east also links to Hocker Park, a Lower Paxton Township park near the summit of Blue Mountain. Boyd Big Tree Preserve, which is managed by PA DCNR, is a popular open space destination for hiking, birdwatching, and seasonal hunting.

The protected acreage is located along the Kittatinny Ridge, a critical link in the 1,500-mile-long Appalachian Mountain range and part of an important migratory superhighway for wildlife in North America including broad-wing hawks, kestrels, ruby-throated hummingbirds, eastern bluebirds, monarch butterflies and cerulean warblers. Scientists have identified the unbroken Appalachian corridor as crucial to the future of hundreds of mammal and bird species amid a changing climate.

“Connectivity at scale is essential to maintaining the long-term health of lands and waters along the Kittatinny Ridge and beyond,” said Lori Brennan, Executive Director of TNC in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “TNC is pleased to have been able to facilitate that linkage at the Boyd Big Tree and extend our thanks to our partners at DCNR for their continued leadership in our state.”

“Boyd Big Tree is a great outdoor escape for people in the Harrisburg region and beyond, and we are proud to add this tract to Pennsylvania’s amazing public lands,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Special thanks to The Nature Conservancy for its partnership for this acquisition and its ongoing assistance to DCNR as we work to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania's natural resources for present and future generations' use and enjoyment.”

In Pennsylvania and Delaware, TNC is leading large-scale conservation programs that protect the lands and waters that are critical to the health and well-being of both people and nature. In Pennsylvania, TNC is also working to reduce stormwater runoff in cities, protect vital migration corridors, and engage farmers and landowners in supporting the adoption of conservation practices. TNC’s work in Delaware focuses on building resilience against climate change—including along the state’s vulnerable coastlines—to protect human communities and habitats. 

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The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.