A Green Ribbon Landscape

Green Ribbon Landscapes are areas where large, native forests, stream sides, and grassland habitats connect with trails, parks and green, open space that provide the highest environmental health, biological diversity, and economic sustainability.

The Swatara Creek and land along it represent a Green Ribbon Landscape, providing an economic benefit of $71 million annually in natural system services such as water filtration, stormwater mitigation, and habitat, among others. Meanwhile, these natural system services compiled throughout Dauphin County’s portion of the Swatara Creek watershed provides an estimated $106 million in economic benefit.

Understanding nature’s value helps decision-makers (landowners and community leaders) address the benefits and costs associated with these areas and their ability to provide services. Manada Conservancy uses information and tools from Return on Environment evaluations to help identify areas of greatest conservation need in the Swatara Greenway to help achieve its land protection mission. COMING SPRING 2023, these resources, described below, will soon be available as interactive mapping tools that will be provided to assist the public with similar decision-making tasks:

  • ROE Findings – Descriptions of information obtained from Return On Environment evaluations for areas within the Swatara Greenway. (To view the full Return on Environment technical report, click here. To view the Return On Environment booklet, click here.)
  • ROE Value Map – An online map showing Return On Environment values for areas within the Swatara Creek watershed in Dauphin County.
  • Selector App – An online application used to identify properties with the Swatara Creek watershed that meet defined criteria related to natural resources and preservation.
  • Site Screening App – An online application that creates a preliminary site conditions report for locations within the Swatara Creek watershed in Dauphin County.

Funding for this project was provided by Audubon Mid-Atlantic through a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.