Mariton: Chestnut Walk Rescheduled
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
Mariton’s American Chestnut Walk has been rescheduled to the raindate of Sunday, October 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mike and Kieu Manes will lead us along Mariton’s trails to look at chestnut trees growing in the woods. You’ll learn about efforts to restore this remarkable tree, as well as see the things we are doing here at Mariton.
One of the man-made natural disasters of the 20th century was the inadvertent release of the Chestnut Blight that killed millions of trees in North America. At one time, American Chestnuts (Castanea dentata) made up 25% of many eastern forests. The trees grew quickly, but lived long. The lumber was used for remarkable furniture, along with rot resistant utility poles and barn beams. The nuts of the American Chestnut was staple for humans and wildlife. Passenger Pigeons, bears, turkeys, and deer are just a few of the animals that depended on this reliable and nutritious food source. Self-sufficient farmers gathered nuts for food, livestock feed and as a cash crop.
There is hope that humans can rescue the American Chestnut. That is an important goal as other species disappear from forests due to our careless introduction of forest pests and diseases. Learn about this relic and the dream for future forests on this walk. Bring a lunch if you like, and we will eat along the trail. Bring leather gloves and help us collect chestnuts for propagation.