Posted on September 27, 2021 at 2:45 p.m.
Nature lovers, bird watchers, children and adults alike visited the Lehigh Gap Nature Center for their annual migration festival, held on Saturday at the Osprey House on Paint Mill Road in Slatington.
The center held a limited festival last year due to the pandemic.
The festival highlights the different characteristics of the center, such as educational exhibits on migration, birds, butterflies, watersheds, plants and much more. Guided hikes in the area were also included, including a bird walk, monarch butterfly tagging, insect spotting, a garden tour, and an art exhibit. There were also artisans on site with demonstrations on woodworking, weaving and the art of the gourd.
Chad Schwartz, Director of Science and Education, has been involved with the Nature Center for five years.
“I got involved in the center over 10 years ago when I was in high school. I did an internship here during college in Muhlenberg, then have been here since 2016, working on staff. I love what I’m doing, it’s a lot of fun here, ”said Schwartz.
The center offers many educational programs. “We usually have around 10,000 students a year with our education programs, so we do a lot of field trips here, school programs and after-school programs. We did a lot of virtual education last year, ”said Schwartz.
He also explained that it was the only nature center in the country to be on a Superfund site.
There are a lot of unique challenges to this. In addition to managing the education program, they maintain the shelter here. There is a lot of work to be done to maintain the 756 acres of land and catalog the different species they see, which is part of Superfund’s whole story.
The Nature Center started in the Slatington area in the 1980s and moved to its current location in 2002, purchasing 756 acres of land in the Lehigh Gap. The center has a network of trails, an education center and a wide variety of plants all around the grounds.
The trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.
Osprey House is run by volunteers, generally open on weekday mornings. The center relies on volunteers who can help by participating in LGNC clean-up days, organizing nature walks and workshops, helping to maintain the trails and making improvements, designing and planting the many gardens. housing, and helping to organize and attend public events.
For more information, visit www.lgnc.org.
Brian Birchak, communications director for the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, right, shows off a monarch butterfly cocoon. JIM LOGUE JR./SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Dan Kunkle, Treasurer and Director Emeritus of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, leads the bird walk along the trails in the center. JIM LOGUE JR./SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS