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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Muhlenberg Field trips Spring 2010

Saturday, April 17: Reed Run, Lancaster, County, PA, 10:00 a.m.
Reed Run, in Martic Township, is a 148.7-acre nature preserve comprised of former cropland, early successional forested areas and mature forested areas. The majority of the preserve is forested, with three fields totaling about 40 acres that were in agricultural production at the time of the Conservancy's acquisition. There are two creeks that flow through the property: Reed Run parallels the inside of southern border of the preserve and Brubaker Run originates at the edge of the central field. Both creeks flow directly into the Susquehanna. Much of the forest that lies outside of the creek ravines is overrun with invasive plants, primarily ailanthus. The topography of the preserve includes 375' change in elevation from lowest to highest points (315' to 690' above sea level).

From Lancaster City, take PA Rt. 324 South (New Danville Pk.). It turns left at New Danville and joins Rt. 741 for a short distance. Where Rt. 741 turns left at a stop light, continue straight ahead and follow Rt. 324 over the Pequea Creek and through Marticville. At Pennsy Rd., turn right, continuing on Rt. 324 through a tunnel (use caution!). In less than a mile, turn left on River Rd., following it past Bridge Valley Rd. At Houserock Rd., angle off to the right. Follow it for .9 of a mile to a stop sign; turn left on Westview and quickly right again onto Houserock Road. Look to the left for the Conservancy sign on the grassy hillside. The parking area is on Houserock Road.

Leader: Joan King. Trail rating: moderate. Bring a bag lunch; the hike should take about 3 hours.

The Joint Field Trip of the Muhlenberg and the PA Native Plant Society is set for Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23.

Saturday, June 5: Unionville Barrens, Chester County, PA
This will be a joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club. One of Pennsylvania's highest-quality serpentine barrens, the Unionville Barrens finally received long-sought protection in 2008 from Natural Lands Trust as part of the nearly 1,100-acre ChesLen Preserve. The grasslands and blackjack oak/post oak woodlands are remnants of a landscape managed for centuries by American Indians using fire. With fire exclusion, the species-rich serpentine grasslands have shrunk from nearly 60 acres in 1937 to less than 9 acres today. That loss in area has led to species extirpation: 16 state-listed species occur there now, but 4 more seen historically are gone. The NLT plans to restore and maintain at least 40 acres of oak savanna. A 2005 report, "Protecting the Unionville Barrens" describes the site's history, flora and ecology (available at under Publications). Appendix A is a survey by Janet Ebert listing 174 vascular plant species. We will see the globally rare serpentine aster
(Symphyotrichum depauperatum) and many species in flower or fruit, likely including Carex bicknellii, C. richardsonii, Deschampsia cespitosa, Dichanthelium oligosanthes, D. villosissimum, Helianthemum bicknellii, Packera anonyma, Phemeranthus teretifolius, Quercus nigra and Scleria pauciflora.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the end of Oak School Road. Wear footgear suitable for wet walking.

For directions:
type in "Oak School Rd., Kennett Square, PA" at or, or see the
directions below. Leader: Roger Latham (office: 610-565-3405, ; cell phone to call only on the morning of the field trip: 484-682-9648).

From Lancaster area: from U.S. 30 at Gap, turn right on PA. 10 & go 2.1 mi.; turn left on PA 372 & go 1.3 mi.; bear right on Strasburg Rd. & go 2.5 mi.; turn right on PA 82 & go 8.0 mi.; turn left on PA 842 & go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.
From Philadelphia area: take U.S. 322 (from U.S. 1 or I-95) & U.S. 202 (from I-76) just south of West Chester; turn west on PA 926 & go 2.8 mi.; turn right on Creek Rd. & go 1.4 mi.; bear left on S. Creek Rd. & go 1.1 mi.; bear left on PA 842 & go 3.7 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

From northern suburbs or Pa. Turnpike, Downingtown Exit #312: go south on Pa. 100 just south of U.S. 30; bear right on Pottstown Pike & go 3.8 mi. (it becomes North High Street); turn right on W. Chestnut St. (U.S. 322 Business Rt. W.) & go 5 blocks; turn left on N. Brandywine St. & go 1 block; turn right on W. Gay St. & go 1 block; turn left on Everhart Ave. & go 2 blocks; turn right on PA 842 & go 6.8 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

From south: from U.S. 1 near Kennett Square, go north on PA 82 for 3.1 mi.; turn right on PA 842 & go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

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