Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station is a nature preserve, biological field station, and environmental education center located in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Lacawac Sanctuaryâ€™s property is 545 acres, includes a pristine glacial lake, Lake Lacawac and its watershed, bogs, forests with hiking trails, and a Great Camp listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lacawac Sanctuary was originally developed as a summer retreat for William Connell, a three-term Congressman, industrialist, and coal magnate. In 1912, the retreat was purchased by Colonel Louis A. Watres, a prominent Scranton businessman, to acquire a parcel along the Wallenpaupack River. This was part of the area that was flooded in 1926 for Lake Wallenpaupackâ€™s hydroelectric dam construction. The lake is the largest in Eastern Pennsylvania and a major economic driver in the region. Lacawac Sanctuary owns 1 mile of shoreline on Lake Wallenpaupack, which is one of the only undeveloped stretches along the 52-mile perimeter.
Since its inception in 1966, the mission of Lacawac Sanctuary has been to preserve Lake Lacawac, its watershed, the surrounding forest and historic structures; provide a venue for ecological research, scholarly interaction and the training of scientists; provide public education on environmental and conservation issues; and conserve open space in Pennsylvania. For over 40 years, Lacawac has accomplished this mission by offering a diverse set of natural areas, facilities, and programs for K-12 and post-secondary educators and students, area residents, scientific researchers, and summer visitors to the region. By bringing scientists together with the general public, Lacawac provides an excellent opportunity for interaction among these user groups.
In late 2013, Lacawac formed the Lacawac Environmental Research and Education Consortium to advance scientific understanding of the natural world through research and education. Lacawac maintains a 545-acre forest and glacial lake preserve and a biological field station with laboratories and a lodge in the Pocono Mountain. The Consortium collaborates with its members â€“ prominent universities, K-12 schools and research institutions â€“ in conducting scientific research, creating education programs for K-16 audiences, and offering resources and support for early-career scientists, including graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
School Programs and Education
Lacawac conducts programs for children grades K-12 each year, ranging from school visits with our naturalists to group-specific field trips and after-school enrichment. College-level presentations are also available.Â All of our environmental education enhances schoolsâ€™ curriculum and aligns with the Commonwealthâ€™s Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology. Additionally, our offerings support the Pennsylvania STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative.
The mission of Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station is to educate the public about humankindâ€™s influence on natural ecosystems and the inter-relationships with the environment. It does so by offering programs year-round to the general public, teachers and students, and youth and civic groups. Lacawac Sanctuary offers community programs designed to connect people of all ages to the natural world.Â Lacawac offers seasonal classes related to art, photography, animals, plants, and habitats.Â