Making a DIFFERENCE Out Here

The mission of Wildlands Conservancy is to protect and restore critical natural areas and waterways, and educate the community to create a legacy of a healthy, sustainable, environment for future generations.

With each passing day, the protection of our natural resources becomes more challenging. With this in mind, Wildlands Conservancy works passionately to PROTECT our land and water resources, EDUCATE individuals of all ages on the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship, and garner ongoing SUPPORT for our mission from the citizens and businesses we call our neighbors.

The Lehigh River watershed adds significantly to our quality of life by giving us clean water, expansive green spaces; abundant opportunities to connect with nature; and a home for many rare, threatened, and endangered species. We are working to give back to it the appreciation, support, and protection it needs to remain a cherished resource for us all.

We Have HISTORY Out Here

like-minded members of the Lehigh Valley community banded together to protect the future of their CHERISHED South Mountain. This piece of land mattered to them and they were INSPIRED to preserve it.

With the generous support of Robert “Bob” Rodale, a local champion of organic farming and then the chairman and chiefof Rodale Press, this group of COMMITTED individuals formed the Lehigh Valley Conservancy, a land protection organization based in Bethlehem.

Wildlands Conservancy’s story begins with one immovable mountain and the commitment of 16 community members who turned to Bob Rodale for help in preserving land on their beloved South Mountain.

“I’ll take care of it,” is all he said, and it was done. That’s all it took to protect 96 acres on South Mountain. We need to make sure Wildlands Conservancy is able to answer the call and say, “We’ll take care of it forever.”

—Jan Keim, a Founding Member of Wildlands Conservancy

Air Products founder Leonard Parker Pool, a DEVOTED caretaker of the local natural environment and skeet-shooting friend to Rodale, bequeathed his 72-acre wildlife sanctuary to the Conservancy to preserve it “in its natural state for its open space, aesthetic and wildlife values, and the enjoyment of those values by the public.”

Soon after, the Conservancy moved its main office and education headquarters to today’s location, known as the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary in Emmaus.

In the late 1980s, the organization further developed its education offerings, emphasizing more than ever the need to engage and nurture future environmental stewards. To better reflect this broadened mission scope, our name was formally changed to Wildlands Conservancy.

Wildlands Conservancy has been creating lasting connections to nature since 1973.

To date, we have protected over 60,000 acres of open space, and we educate more than 20,000 kids a year on the wonder and joy of the natural environment around them. We also work passionately to enhance and project the region’s water resources while connecting our greenspaces together with both waterways and trails.

We work every day to ensure that what makes the Lehigh Valley so special is protected and will continue to be protected.

—Christopher M. Kocher, President, Wildlands Conservancy

We Are FOREVER Out Here


For more than 50 years, Wildlands Conservancy has been working to make sure our irreplaceable lands and natural waterways are protected, healthy, and accessible to the you, your friends, your family, and the great big community of neighbors who call our shared Lehigh Valley and Lehigh River watershed home.