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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