Lake Erie Region Conservancy Completes 180 Acre Acquisition Along Elk Creek;
to Conserve Another 84.5 Acres
For Immediate Release
Nature Enthusiasts and Wildlife to Benefit from Statewide Investment
In Recreation & Community Revitalization
(GIRARD, PA) – The Lake Erie Region Conservancy (LERC) proudly announces that it has acquired 179.8 acres of the Gilmore Farm (that portion south of I-90) located in Girard Township. The closing on this property, which occurred on 12-05-19, was made possible with grants from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), a COLCOM loan from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and technical assistance from the Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program.
Acquisition of this property permanently protects and provides public access to 6,325 feet of Elk Creek creating a new destination for nature-based tourism through managed public access to the site. Elk Creek is a world-class steelhead fishing stream. Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie tributaries generate over $10 million dollars in our local economy resulting from angler visits to these streams and associated recreational expenditures. This acquisition, which has a project cost totaling $926,822 permanently conserves this acreage thereby providing wildlife habitat and safe creek access for anglers and the general public.
LERC will be transferring this property to the PFBC within the next few months. PFBC plans to improve parking and possibly trail access from Beckman Road to the stream. In the meantime, anglers and the general public are invited to visit the property.
A second project involves the anticipated acquisition of a conservation easement by LERC from the Erie County Historical Society (ECHS) on 84.5 acres of the historic Battles Farm property located along Walnut Street/Tannery Road in both Girard Borough and Township. The Battles Farm, originally about 300 acres in size in the mid-1800s now totals 131 acres. Of that amount, LERC is proposing to conserve the wooded areas of the property through the purchase of a conservation easement from ECHS. Efforts to complete that acquisition remain underway. Another 3.2 acres of the Battles Farm already has a fishing easement which is held by PFBC. Walking trails already exist at the Battles Farm site for the community to enjoy, and more trails are under consideration. Funding for this project comes from DCNR and the Erie Insurance Giving Network, with donation value match from ECHS.
Both projects preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and provide open passive recreational access. Through these conservation efforts, LERC hopes to connect people to nature by permanently protecting and enhancing the open space, forested acres, and enhancing existing walking trails and access to encourage visitation.
Visit PA Sea Grant's Land Conservation & Public Access web page for more information.
Below: Low impact walking trail at Battles Farm, Girard, PA; Conservation area at Battles Farm; and map of Battles Farm.