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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Muhlenberg Bulletin and upcoming Meetings and field trips.

The Muhlenberg Bulletin for September 2009 has been published.

The PDF file is here.

The Next Meeting is Thursday September 17 at 7:30pm. and the field trip to the Pocono till Barrens has been changed to Sunday September 20.

September 17 Meeting : Members' Night and Plant Exchange
Bring pictures, slides, or a digital show to share; we will have a laptop and digital projector set, as well as the traditional projector. The highlight will be the plants members bring—ones for which they need to find new homes (don't hesitate to take plants even if you don't bring any!).

September 20 Field Trip, Sunday Pocono Till Barrens
Joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club and Muhlenberg Botanical Society.
The Pocono till barrens, together with adjoining wetlands, forests and ridgetop barrens, hosts 125 species on the state’s endangered, threatened and rare list, 12 of which are imperiled globally. More than 8 square miles of native heathlands scattered along 30 miles of the Pocono Plateau’s southern rim are remnants of a landscape managed for centuries by American Indians using fire. We will explore a dwarf-shrub savanna dominated by lowbush blueberry, sheep-laurel, scrub oak and rhodora, with scattered pitch pine, witherod, black chokeberry, gray birch, red spruce and four juneberry species. Among many likely plant sightings are
Amianthium muscaetoxicum, Calamagrostis cinnoides, Carex polymorpha, Cornus canadensis, Dalibarda repens, Gentiana linearis, Glyceria obtusa, Lycopodium hickeyi, Piptatherum racemosum, Platanthera blephariglottis and Solidago puberula. We will examine results of barrens restoration and management through the use of prescribed burning by The Nature Conservancy. Those who choose to accompany the trip leader on an optional 2-mile hike will also see northern hardwoods forest, conifer swamp, several types of shrub swamp, and Long Pond, an undammed glacial lake.

If you wish to do some background reading on the Pocono glacial till barrens, the flora and ecology of this unique ecosystem are described in several articles, including Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club (1996) vol. 123, pp. 330-349, and Forest Ecology and Management (2003) vol. 185, pp. 21-39.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the Hauser Nature Center (The Nature Conservancy’s Pocono Mountains office) in the village of Long Pond, Monroe County. From there we will carpool 4 miles to the trailhead. Pack your lunch and wear shoes suitable for wet walking.

Directions: Leave I-80 at exit 284 (7 miles east of the interchange with the turnpike, I-476).
Take Pa. 115 south 3.1 miles and turn left onto Long Pond Road (at Pocono Raceway sign).
Drive 2.7 miles to the Hauser Nature Center, on the left just past the firehouse and post office.

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