Land Protection Work Connecting the Borough of Weatherly to the Delaware & Lehigh Trail and Nearby State Park Receives $1.5 Million in Funding
As part of a grant package totaling $14.9 million, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced funding support for the acquisition of the Penn Haven property, leading to the eventual creation of a new trail that will be owned and managed by a public partner. This Trust for Public Land (TPL) project in Carbon County will connect the Borough of Weatherly with Lehigh Gorge State Park and the 165-mile Delaware & Lehigh Trail via a new public trail once the land has been protected.
Consisting of 1,140 acres in the Black Creek Gorge, this project will increase recreation opportunities and public access to the watershed in addition to providing conservation value as a focal area for Eastern Brook Trout and forest bird habitat. This complements the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s ongoing $20 million investment to restore eight miles of the Black Creek Watershed as a trout fishery. Finally, the project also offers tremendous economic potential for the Borough of Weatherly to become a new destination for visitors along the Delaware and Lehigh Trail corridor.
“The benefits of this restoration project will ripple through the nearly 2,500 residents residing in Weatherly and beyond, with the new trail serving as a gateway for hiking, biking, birding, and fishing along the Black Creek Gorge and providing access between the borough, the D&L Trail, and the Lehigh River,” said Owen Franklin, Vice President, Great Lakes Region for Trust for Public Land. “Trust for Public Land is grateful for the support of The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to connect more people with the watershed and experience its many natural treasures.”
This project’s unique combination of improved recreational access, stream restoration, and land protection are powerful strategies that positively benefit the entire watershed. Importantly, this project doesn’t exist in isolation; it’s a puzzle piece in a broader preservation initiative. The newly protected lands will connect with more than 17,000 acres of State Game Land 141 and 7,400 acres of Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Trust for Public Land aims to deliver Penn Haven to public ownership within a year, continuing its commitment to connect people with the outdoors.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.