Rocky Bottom Natural Area
Rocky Bottom Natural Area is Independence Conservancy’s newest preserved property. Donated to us in 2010 by Horsehead Corporation, these two parcels are dedicated by deed restriction to low-impact, non-motorized public access to the banks and waters of Raccoon Creek.
With a half-mile of frontage on a beautiful and well-loved stretch of Raccoon Creek, Independence Conservancy's lands lie upstream and downstream of Potter Township's Tank Farm on Raccoon Creek Road. The Tank Farm and Rocky Bottom are jointly managed as Rocky Bend Nature Preserve, Beaver County's newest public park.
Rocky Bottom is a special place – not only because generations of people have grown to love its quiet beauty – but because of its ecological value. Beaver County’s Natural Heritage Inventory marks the lower Raccoon Creek Biological Diversity Area as a significant forest habitat; the Audubon Society of Western PA designates it as an Important Birding Area and the Nature Conservancy recognizes it as part of the Ohio River Corridor, an area of global significance!
Rocky Bottom, as the upstream part of Rocky Bend Nature Preserve, plus the whole Raccoon Creek valley in Potter Township, is protected by Potter Township’s Natural Heritage Zone. The natural Heritage Zone protect's Raccoon Creek's green corridor, as recommended in the Township's Comprehensive Plan, Beaver County’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan and the 2007 Beaver County Greenways & Trails Plan. Green corridors are natural connections between places. They offer opportunities for recreation, water supply, agriculture, flood control, wildlife habitat, scenic views and a host of natural values that give character to the places we call home.
Visitors to Rocky Bottom can enjoy a quiet float or paddle on the Raccoon Creek Canoe Trail, wade or fish in the creek, or possibly even see a pair of bald eagles gliding among the treetops.
Independence Conservancy has retained KU Resources, Inc. of Duquesne, PA to design the Rocky Bottom Public Access area on Raccoon Creek Road as part of the buildout of Rocky Bend Nature Preserve. Below is an artist's rendering of the proposed project. Future improvements such as parking, signage, boardwalks and picnic areas will depend on direct public support – donations of money, time or materials.