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Green Hills Preserve update

April 7, 2014

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

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We’re plugging away at projects at Green Hills. We’re finished posting boundary for now, having replaced the forbidding no trespassing signs with more welcoming signs that note that while the land is private property, the preserve is open dawn to dusk and visitors are welcome to walk the trails.

The trails are themselves a work in progress. Once there is something growing to mow we will mow them. Part of that, of course, is sowing meadow seed in the farm fields that will be converted to grasslands. We have the seed, entirely funded through local donations (thank you!). Now we’re just waiting for the ground to be dry enough to get a tractor in with the no-till seeder. We’ll do about 15 acres this year and convert the rest of the fields one by one over the next 5 – 6 years.

Force of Nature volunteer Jim Moffett has completed a series of bluebird boxes to make up a trail. We are fortunate to have a local volunteer to monitor them.

I’m grateful for all the local support. I’m 15 miles and 30 minutes away at my home preserve at Crow’s Nest and am lucky to have people checking on the preserve more frequently than I can.

I’ve nominated the red maple above the springhouse to the list of Big Trees of Pennsylvania. It’s unusually large for a red maple, more what you’d expect of a mature silver maple (there’s one of those near this tree). Even after it lost a large branch in the ice storm this winter it is still big. I estimate a spread of almost 90 feet, a dbh (diameter breast height) of 5 feet, and a height of almost 80 feet. ┬áStay tuned to see if it is accepted. It isn’t the biggest in Pennsylvania but may be big enough to be counted on the list.

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