Grant-funded Projects to Improve Habitats

Jan 04, 2019

Partners for Fish and Wildlife, a conservation collaborative based at Cal U, will restore hundreds of acres of fish and wildlife habitat thanks to a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.


With the support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Jose Taracido and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife helped to restore the habitat near Pike Run.


The $800,000 grant was awarded to the Foundation for California University of Pennsylvania, which receives and manages funds on behalf of the University. The funds will support a two-year effort to:

  • Fence and improve at least 35 miles of stream banks.
  • Restore more than 400 acres of upland habitat, primarily young forests and pollinator habitat.
  • Restore more than 130 acres of wetlands.
  • Improve water flow in more than five miles of stream habitat to allow fish to move freely.

The work will be completed in 11 key geographic areas in western and north-central Pennsylvania. Habitat restoration is designed to support “species of concern,” including the golden-winged warbler, American woodcock and Appalachian cottontail, among others.

Habitat restoration

Based at Cal U since 1999, Partners for Fish and Wildlife is a cooperative effort among many agencies. In addition to improving habitat for mammals, birds, fish and insects, it works collaboratively with landowners to restore habitat for wildlife on agricultural property and other lands. The program also provides internships and applied learning opportunities for Cal U students.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Partners for Fish and Wildlife. Recent projects include stream restoration and habitat improvements along Pike Run in Washington County; wetlands restoration in Washington and Greene counties; and bird and wildlife habitat improvements at Forbes State Forest, Westmoreland County.

Upcoming projects will continue efforts to restore Chestnut Ridge streams that harbor eastern brook trout, and to improve habitat for monarch butterflies, which breed in southwestern Pennsylvania as they pass through on their annual migration.

“Our projects target species that are declining in Pennsylvania and throughout the eastern United States,” explains Jose Taracido, supervisor for Partners for Fish and Wildlife’s Farmland Habitat Program.

"Our goals align with those of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and we truly appreciate the foundation’s ongoing support.”