April 10:  Application for charter of Lancaster County Conservancy filed with county Prothonotary

September 17: Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas approved charter

The Articles of Incorporation – Non-Profit

  • Incorporators: Robert E. Fasnacht, Robert K. Mowrer, John R. Helter, Amos H. Funk, Clayton B. Shenk
  • Purpose:  To receive funds for procuring real property for present and future generations and to have desirable open space lands preserved for exercise, recreation, and education by the general public.  A non-government agency is needed to acquire these lands. The organization should have tax exempt status from the IRS and the state of PA so that deductions are possible for donors. The organization shall have an Annual Meeting.
  • Membership:  Large membership of dedicated people who are interested in preserving open space now and forever.
  • Election of Directors & Officers:

President – Robert Fasnacht
Vice-President – Robert Mowrer
Secretary – John Helter
Assistant Secretary – Amos Funk
Treasurer – Clayton Shenk

November 19:  First meeting with recorded minutes; four of the five original directors were in attendance


February 26, 1970:

  • For acquisitions, established that land anywhere in the county, as well as in neighboring counties, will be accepted
  • First dues set at $10.00

October 1, 1970:  First public meeting held at Armstrong building on Liberty Street; 48 people present

February 9, 1971:  First Annual Meeting held at Commonwealth Bank, Lititz Pike, 24 members and guests present

June 26, 1973:  Motion for land acquisition approved and the acquisition of Chickies Rock proposed

August 18, 1973:  Public meeting to announce acquisition of Chickies Rock (113 acres)

November 27, 1973:  For the first formal acquisition, the Mr. & Mrs. Warren Boyer Property was donated to the Conservancy (Total Acres Saved: 2.3)

May 6, 1975: Twenty-eight walkers took part in “Walk to the Rock,” the Conservancy’s first fundraiser, raising over $1,000

December 17, 1975: The Fred & Florence Hauer Trout Run Nature Preserve was the Conservancy’s second formal acquisition (Total Acres Saved: 48.7)

April 5, 1977:   The Conservancy purchases 139.44 acres of Chickies Hill from PP&L (Total Acres Saved: 188.14)


August 18, 1980: Warren Boyer donates 7.28 acres for Boyer Nature Preserve (Total Acres Saved: 195.42)

January 6, 1981: Motion passed to create a life membership for those who have donated natural land to the Conservancy

January 4, 1983: Agreement of sale signed for Tucquan Glen property of 97.028 acres; first purchase of what will become Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve (Total Acres Saved: 299.89)

May 3, 1983: First report of a property used for education – Millersville State College students use Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve

November 1, 1983: Tucquan Glen River upgraded to a 1A Wild and Scenic River by PA Wild and Scenic River Task Force

 May 10, 1984: 23.8 acres donated to the Conservancy for the Alexander-King Nature Preserve (Total Acres Saved: 324.78)

December 31, 1985: Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve expanded by 14.8 acres

June 26, 1987: Chickies Hill Preserve is sold to Lancaster County

July 22, 1987:  First easement of 24.9 acres in Martic Township acquired

August 26, 1987: 0.86 acres of Greider’s Run purchased

December 1987 – October 1988:  Three conservation easements added, totaling 52.43 acres. This includes the first easement at what will become Windolph Landing Nature Preserve

1989: Three more conservation easements added, totaling 119.34 acres (Total Acres Saved: 545.2)


 January 2, 1990: First property guide completed

September 3, 1991: Conservancy hires a CEO as its first staff person

July 2, 1996: Conservancy moves its office to current location at 117 South West End Avenue in Lancaster

December 1, 1996: Conservancy hires its first Director of Development

1998: Rannels Family donates first portion of what will become the 90 acre Rannels-Kettle Run Nature Preserve

February 2, 1999: The Conservancy’s first Land Steward is hired


  • Tucquan Glen is expanded by 9.35 acres
  • 38.39 acres purchased to create Steinman Run Nature Preserve

(Total Acres Saved: 837.29)


December 5, 2000: The Conservancy’s original website goes live for the first time

2000: 177.6 acres saved, including an addition to Tucquan Glen, and the creation of the Homewood and Ray’s Woods Nature Preserves

2001-2002: 147.4 acres saved, including the creation of Fishing Creek Nature Preserve and the Hopeland Farm Conservation Easement

2003: Conservancy purchases 5.9 acre tract adjoining Ray’s Woods, bringing the Preserve’s total size to nearly 53 acres


  • The Rannels Family donates an additional 10 acre parcel to the Rannels-Kettle Run Nature Preserve, bringing its total acreage to 91 acres
  • New Strategic Plan (2004-2007) approved by the Board, including the vision that  “People throughout the County have easy access to an expanding network of interconnected natural areas; and where the Conservancy is strong and stable and seen as a community resource and as the primary non-governmental protector of natural lands in the County”

September 2004: Over forty geocaches were hidden on twelve Conservancy preserves throughout the county for a “Geocache for Conservation” event


  • 38+ acres added with Shiprock Woods Nature Preserve
  • Hauer-Trout Run & Steinman Run expanded to over 600 acres, making it the largest privately-owned, permanently protected Nature Preserve in the county

accredited land trustMay 6, 2008:  The Conservancy closed on the Texter Mountain Tract (96 acres)  in West Cocalico Township

2008  & 2009: Closings on Phase 1 (276 acres) and Phase 2 (191 acres) of the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve acquisition

August 2009: The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awarded the Lancaster County Conservancy Accredited status

August 27, 2009: The Conservancy completed the acquisition of the first of two phases of property in Elizabethtown (82 acres), including an 8 acre parcel north of the Conewago Trail and the Conewago Creek snaking through Lancaster and Dauphin Counties

October 2009:  First Annual “Dine on Harvest Moon” Dinner and Auction Event held at Lancaster Country Club

December 2009: The Guide “Visit the Natural Places of Lancaster County” is available online for the first time (Total Acres Saved: 3,675)

2010: PPL Phase 1 completed – 323.64 acres in Martic and Manor Townships (Total Acres Saved: 3,972)


May 16, 2011: Phase 3 of the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve in East Earl and Salisbury Townships completed, adding 408 acres to the existing 471 acres

Welsh Mountain_compressed

Welsh Mountain

June 29, 2012: The Conservancy acquired the Camp Snyder property, one of the top 10 GEMs in Lancaster County. It is now known as Climbers Run Nature Preserve.

2012: LIVE Green merges with the Conservancy, becoming the Urban Greening Program and allowing the Conservancy to expand its focus to include stewarding Lancaster’s urban environment

April 2014: the Conservancy acquired 195 acres of land, forming part of the Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County and the Otter Creek NaturePreserve in Lower Chanceford and  Chanceford Townships in York County, from PPL.

May 2016: The Susquehanna Research and Education Center and Climbers Run Nature Preserve was opened.

2016: The Conservancy protected 598 acres in Lancaster and York Counties, established 4 new preserves, and opened WildCat Bluff on Airbnb.

June 2017: The Conservancy’s Urban Greening program held the first annual Water Week.

(Total Acres Saved: 6,124)


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