Refuge celebrates successes

A groundswell of local support and a committed effort among public and private conservation interests led to the establishment of Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in 2010. The partnership continues to celebrate important milestones in protecting natural resources along Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge.

Two separate land acquisitions in 2017 will grow the refuge to more than 2,000 acres in size. In April, The Conservation Fund purchased and transferred 1,291 acres to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protecting wildlife habitat and expanding public recreational access at Cherry Valley. The transfer is part of the partnership’s broader efforts to conserve the valley’s resources for people and wildlife, and to provide a buffer surrounding the National Park Service’s Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

The Nature Conservancy has been an integral and influential partner from the time of the refuge’s establishment. TNC recently purchased the Cherry Valley Golf Course with plans to transfer it to the Service as part of the refuge. Plans for the 193-acre property include establishing a trail system and converting the greenways to natural habitat.

The list of organizations that have helped protect wildlife habitat and expanded public recreational access at Cherry Valley is long, and includes state, county, university, and nonprofit partners. The refuge, born out of these great partnerships and local advocacy, will continue to grow and thrive as a result.