Greenwood Sanctuary

In 2009 the Conservancy acquired 128 acres of land in Dimock Township, Pennsylvania. This property was gifted to the Conservancy by its previous owner, Laidily A. MacBride. The property was donated with a non-surface oil and gas drilling lease agreement in place with Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation. The gas lease for the property allows subsurface gas to be extracted via access from adjacent properties, but prohibits surface development activity on the property.

Greenwood Sanctuary is mostly a mix of hardwood forests, non-agricultural fields and hemlock forest. A small, un-named stream originates off the property and flows along the western boundary. Several old beaver dams have resulted in a small shallow pond and wetlands along the stream. Near the center of the property, is a larger, deeper pond with a small island and a wooden dock on the northwest side. There are two gated access roads – the primary access from the north and an abandoned access from the west. Several structures are also present on the property. A system of trails, primarily consisting of old logging trails, is present on the property.

The Greenwood property has many assets. The biggest building on the property is a large, two-story, clapboard barn that was constructed when the property was owned by Laidily MacBride. The barn recently underwent renovations to add a bedroom and bathroom for use by Conservancy research interns. Other structures include a stone and wood shed, a functional outhouse, a small abandoned storage shed, the foundation ruins of an old barn, and several old stone walls.

Open Fields and Mature Forests
There are several open fields on the Greenwood property. Open fields account for approximately one quarter of the acreage.

The forests at Greenwood Sanctuary include aspen, hemlock and mixed hardwood stands. The mixed hardwoods comprise a little more than half of the total acreage. There is a good diversity of mature hardwoods, including but not limited to maple, oak, cherry, birch, beech, ash and hickory. The forests are ecological and economic assets, as they provide critical habitat and community diversity and also support valuable timber species.

On a larger, landscape scale, Greenwood Sanctuary is part of a 1-3 square mile block of forest spanning Dimock and Brooklyn townships (A Natural Areas Inventory of Susquehanna County, 2006). Because large forested blocks are critical habitat for plants and animals dependent on forest interior conditions and, along with connecting corridors, serve as the backbone of wildlife habitat in the area, the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program recommends that conservation efforts in the county should concentrate on maintaining these large forest blocks by avoiding further fragmentation. Thus, the forests of Greenwood Sanctuary contribute substantially to regional habitat and biodiversity.