HIKE EVENT: Explore the natural state of Cherry Valley refuge

A year ago, a former golf course in Stroud Township, Pa., became the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Since then, its fairways and greens have returned to nature, no longer hyperfertilized, mowed or manicured. On Sunday, Aug. 5, hikers will witness the wide-ranging effects: what was once a site for birdies is now populated by birds – and so many other natural beauties besides. On a hot, still July afternoon, the true beauty of this place unfolds like a new butterfly. The rolling hills are now paradise for pollinators. Queen Anne’s lace, yellow tickseed, daisies and black-eyed Susans, milkweed, Joe Pye weed and 6-foot candelabra of mullein fill the open areas. Cherry Creek, with some assistance from Trout Unlimited, looks healthier. No longer mowed right up to the edge of the banks, the water is shadier and dappled with sunlight. Its musical bubbling is delicious to hear. Two bridges across the creek have already been rebuilt. Along the cart paths, interpretive signs suggest plants or animals to look for, describe how a power line cut can be beneficial in a natural landscape, and explain why good water quality is important, and other items of interest. Hikers will feel welcome here, . . . .

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Annual Ramble in Cherry Valley

Annual Ramble in Cherry Valley includes wildlife, winery and farm fun Explore the environmental treasures of the Cherry Creek watershed during the annual Ramble, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. The drive-yourself eco-tour, starting and ending at Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, will focus on the agricultural legacy of Cherry Valley which has resulted in a strong land- and water-conservation ethic. This event is sponsored by Brodhead Watershed Association and the Friends of Cherry Valley. The wildlife refuge is at 2138 Croasdale Road, Stroudsburg. Families and hikers who arrive a little earlier will find even more fun: at noon, a guided hike through the refuge, and at 12:30, snorkeling in Cherry Creek for kids. Those two events are free and require preregistration; see brodheadwatershed.org for information. Afterward, join the Ramble! Starting at 1 p.m., Ramble participants will tour natural highlights along a mapped driving route, each spot staffed by some of the area’s finest naturalists eager to share their knowledge and love of the watershed. Stops will feature the Josie Porter Farm, Eagles Rest Cellars and its vineyard, and Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. At the national wildlife refuge, Ramblers will see the creek improvement projects made by Trout Unlimited’s . . . .

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