BLAKESLEE, Pa. — The Thomas Darling Preserve in Tobyhanna Township is a place where people can explore nature.
It's owned by Wildlands Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, and the township.
A new public access area is now open for people to park.
"Wildlands' mission is to connect people with nature. We do that by nature trails, hiking, and biking, and we have a large environmental education component as part of what we do, restoration work also. We just get people out into nature," said Carl Martin, Wildlands Conservancy.
As more people started reconnecting with the great outdoors because of the pandemic, the Wildlands Conservancy saw the need for more space.
This new parking lot holds 20 vehicles and one school bus.
"We started construction last year and ended around the middle of December as the snow started to fly. We are putting finishing touches on it this spring, a little planting to do and signage that is coming in," said Martin.
An organization called 1% for Nature will fund another parking lot just like this one on the opposite side of this property so more people can park, hike, and bike.
The organization is celebrating its third year in Monroe County by carrying out its mission to provide grants for projects that support conservation and public enjoyment.
"It's important from a recreation standpoint and an interpretative and understanding that people can get in and see these properties, see the value of what is being protected. It's essential. It's not only protecting the property but also giving people access and understanding of it in a way that is safe," said Samantha Holbert, 1% for Nature.
Grant money totaling $1,900 from 1% for Nature will go towards the new public access parking lot.