LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – The Central Pennsylvania Conservancy acquired 58 acres of land that will link Lower Paxton Township’s Hocker Park with a nature trail that runs atop Blue Mountain.

Around 42 of the newly acquired acres are in Lower Paxton and the rest in Middle Paxton Township, which will create a trail that goes from Hocker Park to the Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area.

Central Pennsylvania Conservancy was given a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alexander Boyd and Jane Starke Boyd Charitable Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy to acquire the land.

The land was owned by Jim and Tim Spangler since the 1880s and was called “Spangler’s Preserve” until they agreed to make this purchase possible.

“The acquisition of the Spangler Preserve is a perfect example of community-based conservation where private citizens, nonprofits, and state agencies come together to protect Pennsylvania’s natural heritage,’’ said Jason Andrew Beale, the Central PA Conservancy’s executive director. “Spangler’s location, between Hocker Park and the Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area, is a prime example of habitat connectivity, providing a corridor of protected mountain land that benefits both wildlife and people.”

Courtesy of Central Pennsylvania Conservancy

Lower Paxton Supervisors Chairman Lowman Henry said that linking the land to Hocker Park underscores the Township’s commitment to providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and preserving natural resources.

“Today, we celebrate the addition of a tremendous asset that will add to the quality of life of our residents and visitors,’’ Henry said. “This land is truly a natural treasure that will be enjoyed for generations.”

To learn more about Hocker Park and Spangler Preserve visit the websites.