A mile and a half of Swatara Greenway
When the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department was actively working on establishing a Greenway along the Swatara Creek in the 1990s, the County acquired two narrow parcels in Londonderry Township and Royalton. In 2010, recognizing Manada Conservancy’s ongoing work to make the Greenway a reality, the Dauphin County Commissioners turned over ownership and management of these two long strips of streamside buffer to us. Donning their Manada Conservancy volunteer T-shirts, Commissioners Haste, Hartwick and Pries gathered at the site for a deed transfer ceremony. The Dauphin County Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan (2009) recognized the importance of protecting the Swatara Greenway and made it a County priority. The transfer to Manada Conservancy assured that these parcels would become a visible part of the Greenway and will be enhanced and protected. The total of approximately 19 acres is mostly in Londonderry Township; a portion of one parcel is within Royalton Borough. The Royalton parcel is not accessible from a public road, but the Iron Mine Run property offers an informal access point to the Creek.
This scenic area of the Swatara is a foraging area for herons, egrets and other waterfowl. The Royalton section provides a forested buffer for water quality and important aquatic habitat. Manada Conservancy hopes to provide good management for ecologically sensitive portions, place signage, organize clean-ups, manage invasive vegetation, and maintain and provide safe access to the Creek where feasible. We are grateful for our on-going partnership with Dauphin County and our shared vision of creating a conservation corridor along the Swatara Creek.