Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NorCo Signs Wildlands Conservancy For Its Open Space Program

FROM NORTHAMPTON COUNTY- April 17, 2017 - Northampton County recently signed a three-year commitment with Wildlands Conservancy to assist the County's Open Space, Parks and Recreation and Farmland Preservation Divisions in trail and greenways development, natural resource protection and restoration, and outdoor recreation programs. Additionally, Wildlands has scheduled more than 50 free environmental education and outdoor recreation programs and conservation workshops this year at several county and municipal parks. These programs and workshops, including children and family programs, youth day camps and paddling adventures, are offered to the public free of charge. The goal of this partnership is to improve the natural resources and quality of life for everyone who lives, works and plays in Northampton County.

The County Parks and Recreation Division manages 18 parks and conservation lands encompassing more then 2,000 acres of green space. Highlighted by the 100-acre Louise W. Moore Park to the 1,200-acre cooperative conservation area surrounding Minsi Lake and the five-mile NorBath Trail, the County has a wealth of resources that can be enhanced for public recreational opportunities. "Of great importance, Wildlands Conservancy will assist in the identification of sensitive environmental areas, and provide guidance on how to best develop public access through trails and environmental education programs," stated Gordon Heller, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.

In the past five years, Northampton County's Open Space Program has become a leader in the fields of land protection, environmental restoration and trail development. The Open Space Program has assisted funding the preservation of early 1,850 acres in open space protection and environmental restoration projects, and over 50 municipal park rehabilitation, development and acquisition projects. The County's land and water trail systems equal nearly 300 miles, with the imminent closure of regional trail gaps, allowing Northampton County to become a major hub for 100+ mile trail systems along the East Coast of the United States.

The Open Space Program recently enrolled Northampton County into the Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism Program (www.scenicwilddelawareriver.com), a nine-county regional tourism effort to highlight outdoor recreation, local towns and small businesses along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The Geotourism Program is one of 25 internationally that are sponsored by National Geographic.

"The ability to utilize the resources of Wildlands Conservancy will ensure that our parks and natural resources will continue to be utilized in a sustainable manner for recreation and tourism efforts for years to come," said Bryan Cope, Open Space Coordinator and Chair of the Scenic Wild Delaware River Geotourism Stewardship Council.

The Emmaus-based Wildlands Conservancy, whose mission is to protect and restore critical natural areas and waterways within the Lehigh Valley and Lehigh River watershed, has protected more than 54,000 acres of open space, and educated more than 350,000 people since 1973. "The Lehigh and Delaware Rivers and their tributaries, the backdrop of Blue Mountain, Working farmlands, numerous nature preserves and area parks are among the special natural features that help define Northampton County's unique sense of place," remarked Chris Kocher, Wildlands Conservancy's president. "Our partnership will build upon our shared successes to ensure conservation and environmental education are among the top priorities of the people who call Northampton County home."

Wildlands Conservancy is currently working with the County to develop a state grant application to address environmental restoration needs at the county-owned Archibald Johnston Conservation Area in Bethlehem Township, and developing plans to naturalize areas in select county parks for wildlife habitat, water quality improvement and public enjoyment.

To find out more about these community partnership outreach programs and other Wildlands Conservancy programs, or to register for one, log onto www.wildlandspa.org/events or call 610.965.4397, ext. 136. For more information on Northampton County Parks, call Jim Wilson, Northampton County Parks Recreation Specialist, at 610.829.6404 or send email to jwilson@northamptoncounty.org.

Blogger's Note: I'm deeply concerned by the  land preservation boards in several municipalities that seem more intent on preserving their own properties than doing what is best for the county. At this point, I'dlike to know whether the County is paying The Wildlands. This news release comes from Administrator Cathy Allen.    

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The release came from Allen, but there is no way that dolt wrote it. 10-1 it was Bryan Cope who wrote the release, and superfraud Allen wanted credit for it. Let's give credit where credit is due!

Anonymous said...

And or Jim Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of local do-gooders who think that cutting the grass is a moral sin against nature. They're the ones who convinced Allentown to let the weeds grow along Cedar Creek that looks like hell.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the county handle this themselves? What is the point of this hiring?

Anonymous said...

Save the Dam!

Anonymous said...

Another consultant! NC, the land of consultants. Why have a useless council when there is no government oversight. Brought to you by John Brown & Company.

Anonymous said...

Instantly suspicious of a press release that has every number but the cost.

Don't these sorts of things need to be competitively bid? Is there a conflict of interest with the Cope in Wildlands Conservancy and the Cope mentioned in this article?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The release came from Allen, but there is no way that dolt wrote it. 10-1 it was Bryan Cope who wrote the release, and superfraud Allen wanted credit for it. Let's give credit where credit is due!"

Allen sent it to me. She did not claim to be the author.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Is there a conflict of interest with the Cope in Wildlands Conservancy and the Cope mentioned in this article?"

I was unaware that there was a Cope in Wildlands and will check to see if there is a familial connection. I am also unsure if any money is being paid to Wildlands. I tend to doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie there is a connection, Bryan Cope's father is Scott Cope, he is a senior person at Wildlands Conservancy.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Wildlands Conservancy doesn't lift a finger if there isn't some money involved or expected to come.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie and the banker, further more, scott cope is also the father of randy cope, park director of south whitehall township. the wildlands virtually runs southwhite's park system, and is conspiring to ignore the voter's referendum regarding wehr's dam.

Anonymous said...

"Wildlands Conservancy is currently working with the County to develop a state grant application to address environmental restoration needs at the county-owned Archibald Johnston Conservation Area in Bethlehem Township, and developing plans to naturalize areas in select county parks for wildlife habitat, water quality improvement and public enjoyment."

Why is the County paying them to write grant applications? They aren't doing it for free. If they are doing all this work, what exactly do the county open space and recreation employees do?

Who decided these guys were the best fit? This is the same group that got laughed out of Easton in regards to their idea to remove the Chain Dam and are involved in controversy over in South Whitehall Township. They answer to their own board, nobody else.