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A walk in the woods

September 29, 2011

THOMPSON, PA — There will be a walk at the Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve on Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m., led by Hank Hartman, a retired forester with the U.S. Forest Service.
The 400-acre preserve features many species of trees that tell a unique tale about this particular area and its human and natural history. Hartman will help identify some of these trees, discuss their special qualities and describe some of the modern environmental challenges they are under.

Other indigenous trees at the preserve include maple, ash, a few species of oak, shadbush (named because they flower around the time the shad are running in the rivers), black cherry and many others. There is even a rare American elm.

Walk participants will notice a line of sugar maples along the main trail, planted for convenient sugar tapping by the farm family who lived on the land a hundred years ago. Apple trees and a lilac half hidden in goldenrod and hardhack give further evidence of human habitation in what is now a wildlife refuge. Patches of Scotch and Austrian pines are remnants of the pine plantations planted by the Conservation Corps during the Depression more than 70 years ago and never thinned.

The walk will last approximately two hours. Parking is available in the lot just opposite Stack Road. The hike is easy, but the trail may be damp, so participants are urged to wear shoes appropriate for walking in wetlands. Call 570/727-2385.