HARRISBURG, Pa., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will designate property within the Whitehall-Coplay School District campus, Lehigh County, as a Pennsylvania Wild Plant Sanctuary, Secretary Richard Allan announced today.
The ceremony will be held during an upcoming school board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at the Whitehall-Coplay School District Administration Building, 2940 MacArthur Road, Whitehall. The public is invited.
"The Wild Plant Sanctuary Program promotes conservation of natural areas and native plants, while recognizing private landowners who serve as models of good conservation and stewardship of these special resources," Allan said. "These properties serve as models for other landowners, offering strategies to conserve rare plants as part of their management plans."
The school district sanctuary consists of a small woodlot within the Whitehall-Coplay campus. Comprised of mixed-hardwood species, the site contains habitat that has become increasingly uncommon in the region. Currently, the sanctuary is open to the public only during district-sanctioned visits and events.
Whitehall High School student Chad Schwartz recognized the educational potential of the site and led an effort to designate it as a sanctuary. The school district intends to continue using this area as an educational resource, and to provide ongoing stewardship for the sanctuary.
The Wild Plant Sanctuary Program, now including 12 sites across the state, was established through the Wild Resource Conservation Act of 1982 to establish a voluntary statewide network of native plant sanctuaries. Landowners agree to protect the area and educate others about the importance of native and wild plants and habitats. In return, they receive any needed assistance with developing a management plan and have access to technical assistance and ecological checkups.
For more information on the Wild Plant Sanctuary Program, contact DCNR's Bureau of Forestry at 717-787-3444, or email RA-PAPlantSanctuary@state.pa.us. Details also are available at: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/plants/plantsanctuaries/index.htm.
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources