Westfall Ridge Prairie lies atop a limestone ridge that is home to a globally rare rocky glade prairie community. This preserve is possibly the best example of a xeric grassland on limestone in Pennsylvania. The presence of two prairie plants commonly found in arid prairies of western and central states — side oats grama and false gromwell — make this site even more unusual.
Access to the Preserve
Westfall Ridge Prairie is not open to the public. Volunteer days are held occasionally to maintain the prairie habitat, providing an opportunity to see this site. For more information, please call the Pennsylvania Chapter at (610) 834-1323.
What to See: Plants
The prairie is edged with woodlands of oak, red maple, birch, Virginia and pitch pine, fragrant sumac, table mountain pine, and a magnificent stand of eastern redbud — quite a brilliant site in the spring. The redbud also provides forage for butterflies.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Research and historical archives suggest that the prairie was once much more widespread, supporting large grazing herds, including bison. The Nature Conservancy's dedicated volunteers seeded several acres with prairie grasses in an effort to restore Westfall Ridge to its former extent.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In August 1994, The Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy acquired the 30-acre Benner tract at Westfall Ridge Prairie and simultaneously negotiated an easement for almost 120 acres of surrounding farmland. The Benner family also donated a primary area of 30 acres to the Conservancy.