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Archive for January, 2005

WebWalkers After-School Club

Webwalkers1The winter 2005 session of WebWalkers begins next week! WebWalkers is a kids nature club committed to loving and caring for the web of life: hiking, nature crafts, games, songs, and more!

This program for kids in grades 2 through 6 meets at Crow’s Nest Preserve on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The winter session begins January 27 and runs through March 3. The cost is $20 per six-week session. All are welcome! Bring a friend!

Questions? Call Daniel Barringer, 610-286-7955.

Stone Soup!

On January 29 we will be having a Stone Soup potluck dinner and a winter treasure hunt at Crow’s Nest preserve!

For this intergenerational event each family will bring a vegetable to add to the soup we are making, then we will go outside for a treasure hunt while it cooks, and then we’ll return to the barn to eat it!

The event begins at 3:00 p.m. By 3:30 we will begin the treasure hunt, and we’ll return to eat at 5:00 p.m.

Bring yourself, family and friends, a vegetable to add to the soup, and $5 per person ($15 per family max). We supply the rest!

Dress for the weather, including boots!

To register, call Daniel Barringer at 610-286-7955 and leave a message: name, number in party, vegetable you’re bringing, and your phone number. Space is limited.

Where to get started…

KioskWhen you begin your visit to Crow’s Nest Preserve, start at the kiosk near the parking lot and trail head, located in the field north of the visitor center barn at 201 Piersol Road.

This is where you’ll find trail maps, information about upcoming events, and other notes about the preserve.

The visitor center itself is open by appointment or by chance.

If you would like additional orientation to the preserve please call for an appointment. Here’s our contact information:

Crow’s Nest Preserve
201 Piersol Road
Elverson, PA 19520

tel. 610-286-7955

Castor canadensis

The main trail at Crow’s Nest remains underwater due to a small beaver dam on French Creek. Living with a flooded trail is inconvenient, but we are excited to have beavers using the preserve.

During the summer, beavers (Castor canadensis) eat perennial wildflowers and grasses. Their winter diet is the green layer of cambium just under the bark of live twigs. They gain access to the upper branches of a tall tree by gnawing at its base, causing the tree to fall within their reach. Typically, beavers dam the creek to provide themselves with a means to travel (they swim much better than they walk) and to create a place to store winter food—the submerged twigs of the trees they gnawed down. They do not live in a dam, but usually build a lodge in the area flooded upstream.

Beavers alter their habitat perhaps more than any animal other than humans. Because the habitat they create is used by so many other species of wildlife—in essence, they define the habitat—they are called a keystone species.

Winter Work

People often ask, what do you land managers do in the winter? Well, plenty: control invasive plants, mow meadows, check conservation easments, monitor hazard trees, and more.

We have a comprehensive hazard tree program, where we monitor and proactively remove hazard trees–trees that have both a defect that could cause them to fall, and a target, such as a road or structure. When other trees fall in the woods, that is part of nature and they rot and return nutrients to the soil, become a home for wildlife, and serve as a nursery for young trees.

CuttreeWhen a tree falls along the edge of the woods, into a farm field, we “clean it up” to get it out of the farmer’s way. Some branches are chipped and used to surface the trails. Large straight trunks we mill and use in our building restorations. Large branches we cut up, use for the weight in the pickup truck when we plow snow, and later use as firewood. And some we put back into the woods, where it recycles back into more trees.


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