Wildlands Permanently Protects 38 acres in the Poconos

Acquisition Grows Land Trust's Thomas Darling Preserve to 1,400+ acres, Expands Public Access

In April of 2019,  Wildlands permanently protected 38 acres of woodlands and wetlands situated in Tobyhanna Township, Monroe County.

The acquired acreage, which was previously slated for residential development, grows Wildlands’ Thomas Darling Preserve at Two Mile Run to more than 1,400 acres

“It is extremely rare for land sub-divided for development to be protected as open space. However, that is exactly what Wildlands accomplished when we acquired this property. We’ve made it so the natural corridor can be maintained in perpetuity, and that’s terrific news for the local environment and the Lehigh River watershed in general,” says Carl Martin, director of property stewardship with Wildlands.

This addition is contiguous to the 72-acre parcel the land trust permanently protected in 2017, which provided essential connectivity between adjacent existing natural areas and helped advance plans for public access along Route 940.

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“The unique and precious landscape at Thomas Darling should be shared, and this latest acquisition continues to bolster Wildlands efforts to connect people with nature by expanding public access,” says Christopher Kocher, president of Wildlands. “In addition to being a great place to hike, birdwatch, and view wildlife, these additional acres protect the precious forests and glacial wetlands that support critical habitat and clean, healthy water throughout our Lehigh River watershed for drinking, fishing, boating, swimming and more.”

Thomas Darling Preserve is located in the famed Pocono Mountains and is home to one of the state’s largest spruce forests. This groundwater-fed glacial wetland offers more than 1,400 acres of natural habitat, birding, hiking and hunting areas.

Ongoing habitat restoration projects on the preserve are working to promote populations of animals like the Golden Winged Warbler and Northern Flying Squirrel. Also the discovery of two rare and critically endangered bees directly supports the incredible value of the habitat stewardship taking place in this landscape.

Wildlands acknowledges the support of its giving community, especially the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and private donations through Pocono Lake Preserve for providing funding for the purchase of these 35 acres.