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A 16-acre tract of woodland, wetlands and farmland has been preserved by the Lebanon Valley Conservancy in Millcreek Township.

The conservancy worked with the Jegla family, which owns the property, to acquire a grant of conservation easement, which protects the land in perpetuity.

“This valuable property includes a beautiful stretch of young forest, a wetland area along the Furnace Creek, and acres of sustainably farmed agriculture and grazing land,” according to a press release provided on July 19 by Courtney Reimann, executive director of the conservancy. “This stretch of land contains plants and animals of special interest and endangered species habitat.”

Reimann said the property is close to the Middlecreek Wildlife Management Area.

Family spokeswoman Wendy Jegla said the conservancy made the process of protecting the land “incredibly easy.”

“We love this place, and it feels great to know we’re taking good care of it,” she said in a statement.

Action was made possible through the conservancy’s Land and Resources Committee, chaired by Chuck Wertz, the press release says.

Conservancy members Bob Arnold, Jim Logan and George Gress helped the committee to “identify rare species of plants including native wildflowers and a heritage oak tree on the property,” the organization noted in the release. “Macroinvertebrates and aquatic species were identified in the stream.”

A forest stewardship plan was written to assist in the preservation of the woodland.

The Jegla’s approached the conservancy to initiate the land’s preservation, conservancy president Jon Schach said.

“They already knew the importance of protecting the land,” Schach said. “It was a great partnership and we are honored to steward their land.”

The Lebanon Valley Conservancy is a 501c3 nonprofit land trust that uses conservation easements to protect the historical, cultural and environmental values of the lands in Lebanon County. To date, the conservancy has preserved nearly 1,000 acres in the Lebanon Valley.

Conservancy lawyer Rich Raiders, left, poses with John and Wendy Jegla, former executive director Laurie Crawford and conservancy president Jon Schach. (photo provided)

For more information, visit the conservancy’s website or follow its Facebook Page.

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Tom Knapp

Tom has been a professional journalist for nearly four decades. In his spare time, he plays fiddle with the Irish band Fire in the Glen, and he reviews music, books and movies for Rambles.NET. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and has four children: Vinnie, Molly, Annabelle and Wolf.