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Our Story

Independence Conservancy was incorporated on July 4, 1999 in Aliquippa PA for the original purpose of providing stewardship of the Independence Marsh mitigation wetlands in Independence Township, Beaver County. In subsequent years, this original purpose became unnecessary, and the Foundation expanded its work throughout the greater Raccoon Creek Watershed.

On January 1, 2007, the Independence Marsh Foundation officially changed its corporate name to Independence Conservancy to more accurately reflect its status as a land trust and to recognize its larger role as an independent steward of the Raccoon Creek Watershed in Beaver, Washington and Allegheny Counties of western Pennsylvania.

Independence Conservancy is the first and only land trust based in Beaver County. The Conservancy is an all-volunteer organization headquartered in Industry, PA, and is active throughout the Raccoon Creek Watershed. The Conservancy is not a unit of state, local or county government. It is a 501c3 non-profit supported entirely by public donations, project grants and stewardship programs - not by tax dollars. The Conservancy has no offices at Independence Marsh, and is not a part of the Beaver County Conservation District.

Independence Marsh is owned and operated by the Beaver County Conservation District whose headquarters are located in the Beaver County Conservation District Environmental Center at the wetlands.

Independence Conservancy and the Conservation District are two separate but cooperating entities with different staff and different focuses. The Conservancy and the District cooperate on many projects of public benefit such as the Raccoon Creek Watershed Conservation Plan, the Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation Camp and implementing the Beaver County Greenways & Trails Plan.

Awards and Accomplishments

Through the support of our members, patrons, dedicated volunteers and project partners, the Independence Conservancy has:

Built and operated Abandoned Mine Discharge Treatment Systems which remove over 600 tons of iron yearly from the headwaters of Raccoon Creek.

Partnered with Potter Township to create Rocky Bend Nature Preserve on Raccoon Creek in Beaver County, featuring 89 acres of wildlife habitat and nearly two miles of stream frontage open to the public year-round for hunting, fishing, swimming, wildlife watching, and quiet enjoyment of nature.

Restored over a thousand feet of erosion and planted 5 acres of riparian buffer on Raccoon Creek in Potter Township at Rocky Bend Nature Preserve, featuring a paddle access parking area and Creekside Trail at 201 Raccoon Creek Road.

Adopted Land Trust Standards and Practices, establishing the first land trust based in Beaver County, PA, protecting 99 acres of land in three counties.

Established the Community Tire Collection Program providing economical waste tire disposal options to local municipalities in four counties - over 60,000 tires and wheels processed since 2004.

Launched Land Camp, a week-long, rustic camping experience for teens and youth mentors to learn by doing and seeing how "Life Depends on Land."

Helped to draft the Raccoon Creek Region Conservation Plan, a non-regulatory guide for sustainable development in the Region.

Eliminated illegal dump sites in the Raccoon Creek valley by removing and recycling over 22,000 fugitive tires and 300 tons of scrap metal.

Completed the Raredon Run Stream Restoration repairing 1600 feet of erosion using Natural Stream Channel Design, in-stream habitat improvements and riparian buffers.

  • President's Choice Award 2016: Washington County Community Foundation
  • Best Education and Outreach Project 2013: Ohio River Watershed Celebration
  • Most Innovative Project Award 2012: Ohio River Watershed Celebration
  • Conservation Organization of the Year 2006: Washington County Conservation District
  • Environmental Excellence Award 2005: Ohio River Watershed Celebration
Member of
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • WeConservePA
  • PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers
  • PA Farmland Preservation Association