Crow’s Nest: Exploring the backyard

November 12, 2013


The woods behind the visitor center barn and the tenant house at Crow’s Nest Preserve lead down to French Creek, and provide a wildlife corridor and water-quality buffer for the stream. Over the years I have been managing it to get rid of Oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle, and Norway maples, with a few winged euonymous, privet, and Tatarian honeysuckle too. Over the last couple decades the scrubby trees have grown up and the understory that these weeds had occupied has opened up.

In the last couple years we have also started building trails back there. There’s always been one that leads to the ol’ swimming hole. Then we added a “stump playground” for camp and nature club kids’ programs. Now there is one that leads downstream along through the woods and comes out on Harmonyville Road, and another that leads out onto an island in French Creek. None of these trails show up on the official trail map yet—they’re mainly used by kids attending group programs. But anyone is welcome to explore back there.

It is a wonderful place for a five-year-old to explore. It feels wild and remote, but if you turn around you can still see the house. We’re blessed to live in such a wonderful setting. The important thing is to get out and explore nature nearby, no matter what form it takes in your backyard.

Posted by Daniel Barringer on November 12, 2013.