Please join us for a joint event with the DVGBC on Wednesday, September 10th at 5:30 as we attend an informative tour of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center (LGNC) in Slatington, PA. Dan Kunkle, Executive Director of the LGNC, will be our host for the evening.
Since 2002 the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, a non-profit conservation organization, has been located at the foot of the Kittatinny Ridge. The refuge occupies a 2.5 mile space on the Kittatinny between the Appalachian Trail and the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail, which parallel each other, then intersect at Lehigh Gap near the Wildlife Center’s Osprey House.
As a result of decades of air pollution resulting from 20th century industrial zinc smelting in Palmerton through the 1970s, much of the mountain at the Lehigh Gap Refuge and in surrounding areas was deforested, eroded, and left with high levels of zinc and other heavy metals. Along with their partner, Viacom, much of this land is being restored using various species of native, zinc-tolerant, warm-season (prairie) grasses. Beginning in 2003, test plot areas on the mountain were seeded and fertilized, both from the ground and later by aerial application of seeds with crop dusters. The success of this program has been remarkable, as can be seen from the dramatic transformation of the mountain. As the grasslands thrive and expand, they anticipate a growth in the abundance and diversity of wildlife supported by the renewed habitat.
Other parts were a productive habitat already, including ponds, bottomland wetlands, a 2.5 mile riparian zone, forested slopes, cliffs, and savanna at the higher elevations. The refuge is valuable habitat for resident species, and a corridor and stopover site for migratory species, especially raptors and Neotropical songbirds.
The refuge is also a site for wildlife research, carried out by Center staff and volunteers, and in conjunction with local colleges and universities. It also serves as an outdoor classroom to support their educational programs.
More information is located at http://lgnc.org/
Dinner will take place at 5:30 before the start of the nature garden tour at 6:15 immediately followed by a presentation at 7:00.
Pizza will be ordered for the attendees. Cash payment for dinner will be collected during the event based on consumption.
There will be 1.0 PDH available for $10.00. Guests not requiring PDH certification are free of charge. PayPal is available and encouraged for registration payment. If you do not pay in advance, cash or check will be collected immediately prior to start of tour.
The Lehigh Gap Nature Center is located at 8844 Paint Mill Road in Slatington (40º 47′ 03″ N, 75º 36′ 32″ W).
Directions to LGNC - http://lgnc.org/maps-directions#Osprey