York’s Susquehanna Riverlands one of three new state parks

Edward Gruver//September 28, 2022

York’s Susquehanna Riverlands one of three new state parks

Edward Gruver//September 28, 2022

Susquehanna Riverlands in York County is one of three new parks added to the 121-state park system, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday.

Vosburg Neck in Wyoming County and Big Elk Creek in Chester County are also part of the $45 million investment aimed at conserving close to 3,500 acres of crucial natural and cultural resources while also meeting the demand for new recreational opportunities.

The names of the three new parks are temporary. Final names will be determined during the planning process.

“Our beautiful state parks are among the finest in the nation,” Wolf said. “I’m proud to have secured funding in my final budget to make this investment in our park system which will not only preserve invaluable natural resources and habitats for wildlife but provide in-demand access for Pennsylvanians to enjoy the beauty of nature and recreational opportunities.”

Wolf in 2016 added Washington Crossing to the commonwealth’s state park system. Including the three new parks, he has added four parks in eight years, the most of any governor in the last 40 years. His final budget includes an historic $696 million investment in conservation, preservation, and recreation.

“Each new park is unique in its value to a great system,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams. “All of the new parks are steeped in cultural pre-and post-colonial history, centered around important water resources and represent fantastic natural resource value.”

Situated in Hellam Township, the Susquehanna Riverlands site warrants conservation as it occupies 1,110 acres of natural resources already preserved and protects important water and forest resources. The wooded tract is located within 30 minutes of a heavily populated area where land for recreation use is at a premium. It Is adjacent to Hellam Hills and Wizard Ranch nature preserves, which combine to protect the spacious tract along the Susquehanna River between Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster.

“By working side by side with DCNR, we are creating a conservation landscape that future generations will benefit from,” Lancaster Conservancy president Phil Wenger said. “Conservation needs both public and private organizations to partner to offset the impact increased development has on water and air quality, as well as ecological decline, to ensure our natural world doesn’t disappear before our eyes.”