Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brodhead Watershed: June 16: Van Buskirk Preserve Hike, Snorkeling In McMichael Creek Kids Event, Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host two events on June 16-- a Water Wiser Kids event snorkeling in McMichael Creek and the Van Buskirk Preserve Hike that is part of the Get Outdoors Poconos series, both in Monroe County.
From 10:30 a.m. to Noon June 16, educators from Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center will lead a snorkeling exploration of McMichael Creek near Snydersville.
Snorkeling a creek is one of the best possible ways to learn about-- and learn to love-- our local natural world.
The program, part of the Water Wiser Kids series, gives children and their parents a chance to get to know the freshwater world, a bug’s-eye and fish-eye view, by snorkeling local creeks.
“Children are natural-born scientists, curious about everything,” said Roger Spotts, environmental education coordinator for Kettle Creek.  “They love learning about slippery, slithery creatures, and when they have fun at the same time, that’s all to the good.”
Children will be introduced to stream ecology, such as what bugs can tell us about how pure creek water is, what small fish need to survive, and how underwater plants contribute to stream health.
For instance, did you know that at every stage of life, brook trout need water that is COLD? Big, shady hemlocks and shrubs along a creek are important to keep the temperature right.
The program is geared to children from kindergarten through seventh grade, but people of all ages are welcome, including parents and older and younger siblings. Snorkeling gear will be provided. Snorkelers should wear bathing suits and water shoes or old sneakers and bring towels and a change of clothing.
The event is free, but registration is required and limited.  Call 570-839-1120 or send email to:
Van Buskirk Preserve Hike
Carol Hillestand will lead a 2-mile loop hike at the Van Buskirk Preserve in Paradise Township from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on June 16 that is part of the Get Outdoors Poconos series.
This is a strenuous hike on and off trail and requires climbing over and crawling under fallen trees. Expect rocky, wet, steep conditions. Walking stick recommended.
The 80-acre preserve has always been full of fascination for hikers, with an overgrown orchard, the stone foundation of a long-gone barn, an old red rock quarry, the gushing Cranberry Creek, and multitudes of spring wildflowers.
But after March’s nor’easters and May 15’s violent windstorm, hardy hikers will find so much more to see, navigate and appreciate. Tree limbs are embedded like swords, deep in the earth. White pines are uprooted, their giant root masses on end and exposed, as tall as houses and studded with slabs of stone.
Against the backdrop of raw and broken trees, spring doesn’t despair. Low-bush blueberries are covered with nodding white flowers. Violets in every shade, false lily of the valley, star flower, wild geranium, and Jack-in-the-pulpit abound.
Thousands of oak seedlings and saplings are filling in for the skeletal old oaks the gypsy moths devoured a few years ago.  Nature, as always, finds a way to rebound.
The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The hike is free, but call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727 to register or send email to:  
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Brodhead Watershed Association website.

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