The Trust for Public Land has permanently protected 310 acres of forest in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County. The property was transferred to the Bureau of Forestry as an addition to the 80,267-acre Delaware State Forest.
Funding for the $1.2 million acquisition was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program and a grant from the Pike County Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program. The Trust for Public Land assisted Pike County and local partners in passing a $10 million open space bond in 2005.
“Our priorities when it comes to adding land to our system is to provide buffers to our existing lands; expand trails, which we know is the number one priority of our residents; and protect habitat and resources such as water quality,” said DCNR Secretary Richard Allan. “The conservation of this land meets all of those goals.”
Allan added that open space protection and trail expansion are priorities in the Pocono Forest and Water Conservation Landscape effort to bring many partners together to tie economic vitality to natural resource protection.
Surrounded by state forest on two sides, the newly acquired property will expand the Blooming Grove 4-H Hiking Trail. Located adjacent to the property, the hiking trail is a seven-mile trail system developed by Pike County 4-H Club members in coordination with the Bureau of Forestry.
The property will also buffer the White Deer Lake section of the state forest, protecting water quality. Visitors to White Deer Lake can launch boats, fish for bass and panfish, hike, mountain bike and horseback ride on the property.
“The Trust for Public Land is pleased to have partnered with Pike County and DCNR to add this property to the Delaware State Forest,” said Anthony Cucchi, Pennsylvania state director for The Trust for Public Land. “Now that the property will be actively managed by the Bureau of Forestry, the contiguous forest will enhance the local tourism economy, conserve natural resources and protect Pike County’s rural character.”
Renowned for its remote glacial lakes and bogs rich with plants, wildlife and scenic beauty, the forest derives its name from the nearby Delaware River. With frontage along routes 6 and 402, the 310-acre property was a high acquisition priority for the Delaware State Forest, which attracts millions of visitors annually from the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, each located two hours away.
For more information about the Delaware State Forest visit the DCNR website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us  and choose “Find a Forest.”