ClearWater Conservancy's Slab Cabin Run Initiative fundraising on target
STATE COLLEGE — ClearWater Conservacy’s largest project in the environmental watchdog’s 36-year history has eclipsed yet another fundraising deadline in an effort to permanently conserve 300 acres of agricultural land in College and Harris townships.
Now, the group is in the homestretch of the $2.75 million Slab Cabin Run Initiative project, which will not only preserve the 300 acres of agricultural land, but also restore parts of Slab Cabin Run to maintain its fish habitat and protect the Centre Region’s primary water source for future generations.
“We are on target and we’re working hard each and every time to get reach our goals,” said Andrea Murrell, strategic communication coordinator with ClearWater.
“We’re very fortunate to have such supportive and generous partners in this project, including the municipalities and the landowners. It’s a big project with a lot of moving parts, so we’re lucky we have a great group all working together. Things have gone smooth to this point, and we’re hoping things continue to go that way.”
A total of more than $2.1 million has been raised since the project was announced in October 2016. Sources include $935,000 in private contributions and $1.24 million from local municipalities and municipal authorities.
The Patton Township Board of Supervisors recently approved a $75,000 contribution to the initiative.
“Clearwater is grateful they’ve invested in an important project that their constituents stand behind,” said ClearWater’s executive director Deb Nardone.
Funding requests from Benner and Halfmoon townships are pending.
“We have our boots on the ground and we’re working as much as we can to spread awareness for the importance of this project, as well as raise the needed funds to get it completed,” said Murrell.
The next fundraising deadline of the project total — $2.75 million — arrives Saturday, Sept. 30.
The property lies in a vital portion of the Spring Creek Watershed, within the Source Water Protection Area for the Harter-Thomas wells, which supply the majority of drinking water for residents in State College and much of the Centre Region. A portion of the farmland, which supports production of dairy products sold at Meyer Dairy, is visible when looking east along University Drive Extension or directly across from Foxdale Village and the State College Friends School.
“We’re looking for the public to invest in this great success story, helping conserve an iconic and much loved place while protecting the region’s drinking water,” Nardone said. “We know that local businesses and neighbors will want to look back on and say they were a part of making it happen.”
When the project is complete, the land conservation of 300 acres will result in Meyer Dairy Partnership owning both Meyer and Everhart farms and ClearWater Conservancy holding permanent conservation easements on both. The conservation easement is a legally binding encumbrance on the property deed, ensuring protection of the farmland and stream corridor forever. Once the easement is in place, ClearWater can begin restoration on Slab Cabin Run.
For more information about the Slab Cabin Run Initiative, visit www.clearwaterconservancy.org.