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The Musser Gap to Valleylands Site
Penn State's LA Department Leads the Way

The Musser Gap to Valleylands Site

Landscape architecture students Jake Tiernan and Anya Bielawa meet with community members and ask them their thoughts on the importance of farming and agriculture in the area designated for the project.


Back in December of 2018, Pennsylvania State University partnered with ClearWater Conservancy, a non-profit organization based in the Centre County, Pennsylvania that aims to "conserve and restore the natural resources of central Pennsylvania."

The partnership resulted because Penn State sought a partner that would be able to environmentally reuse a 365-acre swath of land known as the Musser Gap to Valleylands site. That area lies approximately south-east of the campus, between Whitehall Road and Rothrock State Forest.

Penn State president Eric Barron was quoted as having said, "Our vision for this area is to not only help protect the local water supply, plant and animal species, but also make it a place where people can enjoy nature, learn about the environment and be inspired."

In a great way to engage students and promote the department's mission, the university's president selected the Department of Landscape Architecture to design the project.



The Musser Gap to Valleylands Site

Here, Bryce Brucker, a fourth-year landscape architect student, makes a note on the site map.


The Musser Gap to Valleylands Site

Active emeritus associate professor of landscape architecture, Tom Yahner, introduces students to the geology and landforms of the Ridge-and-Valley during the fall semester class at Penn State.


"We're delighted to assist the University with this forward-thinking project that falls squarely within our department's mission to do environmental and social good," stated Eliza Pennypacker, head of the landscape architecture department, in an article found on the Penn State website. "Through the Musser Gap to Valleylands project, our faculty and students have the unique opportunity to work with the University and local citizens to have a positive impact on our land and on our community."

The first phase of the project is a fall semester course that will "challenge faculty and students to take a deep dive into understanding the site." Then, a spring semester class will engage stakeholders, "so the class and faculty [can] learn about their personal values and concerns regarding the site."

No word has been found on an estimated completion date, or on the types of amenities planned within the area; however the entire news release can be found on the Penn State website HERE (https://stuckeman.psu.edu/news/landscape-architecture-plays-central-role-latest-conservation-project), and future updates are sure to be unfurled.



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June 18, 2019, 9:05 pm PDT

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