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Nature walks in the Florence Shelly Wetlands

July 7, 2011

THOMPSON, PA — The Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve Stewardship Committee will sponsor a nature walk on Sunday, July 10, at 2 p.m. It will be an introduction to the preserve through its “Signs of Wildlife.”

The preserve is a diverse, 400-acre nature preserve located on PA Route 171, just north of the village of Thompson. Part of The Nature Conservancy’s network of protected lands, it was set aside more than 25 years ago because of its value as a wetlands, its rare stand of balsam fir and its diverse wildlife. The stewardship committee, a volunteer group, sponsors a series of nature walks on various themes every summer.

Among the sights and sounds the group will encounter are gouges made by bear claws in the barks of trees and carnivorous pitcher plants floating on the glacial pond. They will also view some of the less beautiful aspects of nature, such as the masses of dry viburnum that have been decimated by a beetle in recent years.

The amateur naturalists of the stewardship committee who will lead the walk include a willow furniture maker and potter, an author, and a retired chemist who has traveled all over the world to study birds.

The walk begins at the parking lot one mile north of Thompson on Route 171, where Stack Road intersects. It will last about two hours. It is free and no reservations are required. The trails are often wet, so wear protective footwear. Call 570/727-4272.