Conservation Programs and Projects for Cherry Valley Landowners


Below is a list of many of the conservation programs and projects that are underway or available for landowners in Cherry Valley.  Please contact the key contact listed for more information.

Brodhead Watershed Association - Theresa Merli -  839-1120

The Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting and improving water quality and the environment in the Brodhead watershed. The BWA assists municipalities, residents, businesses and groups with protecting natural resources through education, workshops, seminars, public programs, stream monitoring and baseline data collection and stream cleanups

Cherry Creek Watershed Conservation Plan - Gary Bloss - 992-0899 -

The Brodhead Watershed Association is leading an effort to develop a Watershed Conservation Plan for the Cherry Creek Watershed, from the headwaters near Saylorsburg to the mouth in Delaware Water Gap.  The Watershed Conservation Plan will include an inventory of natural, recreation and cultural resources; an analysis of the current conditions; uses and issues facing the watershed and an action plan for improved conservation and management of the Cherry Creek watershed.

 Cherry Creek Stream Watchers - Theresa Merli -  839-1120

Two distinct teams of volunteers monitor the streams of the watershed on a monthly basis in measuring thirteen water quality parameters.  If measurements beyond safe parameters are confirmed by the team leader, the Department of Environmental Protection is notified for follow-up and action. The results of the monthly data collection can be found at

 Cherry Creek Stream Walkers - Gary Bloss - 992-0899 - & Don Baylor - 992-3558

The Stream Walkers are a group of trained volunteers that conducted an assessment of the Cherry Creek.  They walked the creek and visually characterized each quarter mile segment for water quality, stream bank condition, habitat, and man-made intrusions.  The assessment was part of the Cherry Creek Watershed Conservation Plan.

The Nature Conservancy - Ellen Lott - 643-7922 ext. 20

Land Conservation - The Nature Conservancy has protected 485 acres in Cherry Valley through  land acquisition and conservation easements.  The Conservancy continues to talk with interested landowners who are looking for conservation options for their land.

Biological Inventory - The Nature Conservancy is documenting the location, habitat, and conditions or rare species and special natural communities in the Valley.

Land Management - The Nature Conservancy is developing a habitat management and monitoring plan to guide its work to restore and manage wetlands in the Valley.

 The Pocono Heritage Land Trust (PHLT) - Dawn Gorham- 424-1514 -

The Pocono Heritage Land Trust has preserved 137 acres in Cherry Valley.  PHLT acquires land and/or conservation easements from interested landowners.  PHLT continues to talk with landowners in the Valley who are looking for conservation options for their land.

Monroe County Agricultural Land Preservation Program - Laura Baatz - 517-3151 -

This Program protects and promotes the continued agricultural use of valuable agricultural land by acquiring agricultural conservation easements (purchasing development rights) from willing property owners.  An agricultural conservation easement is a perpetual easement.  Landowner applications are due in February of each year.  To date, this program has protected 310 acres in Cherry Valley and has several additional projects in process.

 Agricultural Security Area (ASA) - Laura Baatz - 517-3151 -

Agricultural Security Areas help protect our quality farmland from urbanization of rural areas. This voluntary program protects farmers from nuisance complaints, local ordinances affecting farming activity, and condemnation.  An ASA also can qualify land for consideration under the Monroe County Agricultural Land Preservation Program at the landowner’s request.  Farmers create an ASA by submitting petitions to township supervisors.  A minimum of 250 acres from among all participating farmers is required.

 Monroe County Open Space Program – Christine Pettore – 570-517-3153 -

Administered by the Monroe County Planning Commission, the Open Space Program works on the allocation of the $25 million bond that was passed by voter referendum in 1998.  Funding is available for land acquisitions, conservation easements, and agricultural easements by municipalities, land trusts, and the County.  Several projects in Cherry Valley have been partially funded from the open space bond.

 The County Planning Commission is also developing a Map of Potential Conservation Lands (Jeff Weed - 517-3341 -, identifying those parts of undeveloped properties where the municipalities have preliminarily determined the importance of designing new development in such a way that an interconnected network of conservation land can be protected.

 Delaware Water Gap Open Space Committee - Mayor Walter Conway - 421-6664 -

Following up on the recently completed Eastern Monroe Regional Open Space Plan, the Delaware Water Gap Open Space Committee is looking at several properties as potential park sites.

 Hamilton, Jackson, Pocono Townships (HJP) Regional Open Space Committee - Dave Fenner - 992-7020 -

The HJP Open Space and Recreation Plan is a comprehensive Multi-Municipal Plan developed to establish both short- and long-term goals for each township’s open space conservation, recreation and resource protection objectives.  This Plan is in draft format.

 Smithfield Township Open Space Committee - Jackie Ocker - 421-6931 -

Following up on the recently completed Eastern Monroe Regional Open Space Plan, the Smithfield Open Space Committee is looking to acquire select park properties for active recreation, passive recreation, and trail links.

 Stroud Township Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) - Ed Cramer - 570-421-3362 -

The Stroud Township EAC makes recommendations to the Township Supervisors on the acquisition of land and/or conservation easements.  The EAC is currently developing acquisition criteria and program procedures.  The program is funded with a 0.25% Earned-Income Tax approved by Township voters in November 2001.

Greater Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge Proposal - Ellen Lott - 643-7922 ext. 20 -

The designation of a Wildlife Refuge in the Greater Cherry Valley Area would allow interested landowners on a volunteer basis to sell land or conservation easements to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  It is envisioned as another potential tool to assist Valley landowners interested in conservation options for their land.  (see next entry for more information).

 Friends of Cherry Valley - Debra Schuler  - 570-460-0463

The Friends of Cherry Valley are dedicated to the conservation of the region’s scenic beauty, wildlife, ecological and environmental resources, and rural character.  The Friends strive to maintain these unique resources and to provide a high quality of life for the area’s residents and visitors on a long-term basis.  Currently, the Friends are working to build support for the National Wildlife Refuge proposal and to get answers to questions and issues raised by the community.

 Growing Greener Subdivision Design Review - Meredith Miller - 517-3157 -

These audits provide recommendations on how the conservation subdivision design technique can be incorporated into a municipality's ordinances.  Audits were conducted for Delaware Water Gap Borough  and Hamilton, Smithfield, and Stroud TownshipsHamilton, Smithfield, and Stroud have been revising their ordinances to promote conservation techniques in the subdivision process.

Municipal Contacts:

Hamilton Township - Alan Everett - 992-7020 -

Smithfield Township - Jackie Ocker - 421-6931 -

Stroud Township - Ross Ruschman - 570-421-3362

Delaware Water Gap Borough – Virginia Boyce - 476-0331

 Hamilton, Stroud, Pocono, Stroudsburg Comprehensive Plan Committee - Ed Cramer - 570-421-3362

This Plan will help the municipalities identify and address regional issues such as sewer and water, emergency services, agricultural preservation, transportation, and developments of regional scope.  Planning jointly for these issues can eliminate duplication of efforts, encourage communication between municipalities and create opportunities for more efficient use of resources. 

 The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Project - Paul Zeph - 570 629-3061

The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Project is a collaborative effort of local, regional, and state organizations and agencies to focus public attention on the importance of Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge); and to help foster good stewardship of the Ridge for future generations.  Input from landowners, local officials, community leaders, businesses, and the general public will help determine the conservation vision and future of the Ridge.  Landowner participation is strictly voluntary.  A "conservation toolbox" will be developed to help landowners and local governments conserve the ridge's important natural resources. A comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) for the entire Ridge corridor will be developed by September 2003 and will be available via CD and the Internet.