Advancing Land Protection and Stewardship in the Poconos

Preserve Expansion and Access improvements for our Natural Lands to the North

Advancing Land Protection and Stewardship in the Poconos

Much of the local community knows about Wildlands Conservancy from our Emmaus-based Pool Wildlife Sanctuary and South Mountain Preserve. But our conversation efforts reach beyond the Lehigh Valley to protect and steward lands throughout the 10-county Lehigh River watershed, including two Pocono-based preserves that we own and manage – Thomas Darling Preserve and Maple Tract Preserve.

Thomas Darling Preserve

This 1,300-acre preserve, situated in Monroe County, is home to one of the state’s largest spruce forests.  Also featuring groundwater-fed glacial wetlands, this natural area invites birders, hikers and sportsman, but access to Wildlands’ Thomas Darling Preserve is limited.

To answer this call, Wildlands is presently working to protect an additional 72 acres that will expand the preserve while creating better accessibility for the public to enjoy this special, natural place.

Maple Tract Preserve

Located in the heart of the Pocono Plateau (Long Pond), the Maple Tract Preserve is a remnant of the long-ago glacial period that shaped most of this region. It offers 680 acres of forest and oak brush thickets, marsh and laurel hells, and a host of wildlife abounds here including bear, grouse, snowshoe hare and beaver.

In 2014, to create more get-outdoors opportunities for the community, Wildlands commenced access and wildlife habitat enhancements at Maple Tract Preserve, including the addition of a parking area, the initiation of a trail network and the installation of nesting boxes.

These efforts continue and are forwarded in great part with help of volunteers. Wildlands is next hosting a volunteer work day on Saturday, September 17 from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn more and sign up!