A hidden little gem of habitat
Sometimes, out of the blue, we get a phone call like this: “We have some land we’d like to donate to Manada Conservancy.” This does not happen often, and when it does, we can’t always accept the land. But we were delighted to receive such a phone call from Richard and Doris Vickroy. This is a small parcel—just one half acre—but it is another link in the long string of parcels which make up the Swatara Creek stream bank corridor and may, over time, create a continuous Greenway.
Once a lowland farm field, the parcel has become a wooded area which serves as flood control and wildife habitat in the long section of Derry Township frontage along the Swatara Creek. Because the Vickroys were not using the land, nature took its natural course, and even Mr. Vickroy was surprised when he saw the sycamores, silver maples, paw-paws, and other typical floodplain species that had grown there. The pawpaw is a host for the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly, beautiful but not commonly seen; yet on our first expedition to the property, we saw several of these fluttering by in the sunshine. We also saw wood ducks and other birds.
The property has no access from the road, so will remain a natural area, monitored by us and by the waterfowl and butterflies who call it home.