More News:

January 05, 2024

458-acre Girl Scout camp in Montgomery County to be permanently preserved

Camp Laughing Waters, which covers parts of New Hanover and Upper Fredrick townships, will add a 2-mile county trail as part of the conservation plan

Environment Conservation
Camp Laughing Waters Source/Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

Camp Laughing Waters, a 458-acre wooded area in Montgomery County, is now protected by a conservation easement that will ensure its continued use by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

A large tract of woods in Montgomery County that has served as a Girl Scouts campground since the 1950s will be permanently protected from development due to a conservation easement.

Camp Laughing Waters, a 458-acre tract covering parts of New Hanover and Upper Fredrick Townships, had been the largest remaining section of unprotected woodlands in the county. The easement was obtained with help from the Delaware County-based nonprofit Natural Lands, with financial support provided by the state, county, townships and other sources.

The land encompasses two miles of Swamp Creek and its tributary, Minister Creek, which flow into Perkiomen Creek — a tributary of the Schuylkill River. The majority of the property is wooded, with about 30 acres of ponds and wetlands. It sits within the larger Swamp Creek Conservation Landscape, a 9,383-acre section of Montgomery County that remains mostly untouched.

"The property's permanent preservation has been a priority for decades," said Kate Raman, a conservation project manager with Natural Lands.

The easement allows the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania to use the grounds permanently. It also calls for a 2-mile county trail to be blazed along its southern border, from New Hanover Road to Fagleysville Road. The trail will be added to plans for a larger country trail network that includes the Sunrise Trail and the Swamp Creek Greenway.

"This will benefit not just the Girl Scouts, but also the flora and fauna that call these lands home, the public who will enjoy the recreational trails, and residents downstream whose property and water supplies will be permanently protected," said Kim E. Fraites-Dow, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

The land is home to a range of songbird species that depend on dense forests for their habitats.

Natural Lands has helped preserve more than 9,300 acres of Girl Scout and Boy Scout land in the region, including a 24-acre Boy Scout tract in Upper Roxborough that will be permanently protected by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.