Pennsylvania

Westfall Ridge Prairie


Westfall Ridge Prairie lies atop a limestone ridge that is home to a globally rare rocky glade prairie community. Natural history archives for Pennsylvania reveal that this prairie was once much more widespread, supporting large grazing animal herds, including bison. Since acquiring this property in 1994, The Nature Conservancy's dedicated volunteers have seeded several acres with prairie grasses in an effort to restore Westfall Ridge to its former extent. This prairie habitat requires periodic disturbance to maintain the conditions that are favorable for the species that live here.

Size

148 acres

Location

Juniata County

Threats

Succession, Invasive Plants

What’s At Stake

Westfall Ridge Prairie contains one of the best examples of a xeric grassland on limestone in Pennsylvania. It also harbors two prairie plants commonly found in the more arid prairies of western and central states—side oats grama and false gromwell, and supports with a variety of insects. The preserve 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, which provides important forage for butterflies.

Milestones

In 1994, The Nature Conservancy acquired the 32-acre Benner tract at Westfall Ridge Prairie and simultaneously negotiated an easement for 115 acres of surrounding farmland.

Things To Do

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.

Support This Work

Donate today to help us protect lands, waters and wildlife in Pennsylvania.

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