6/6/2024: Adventures with Preserve Families

Adventures with Preserve Families
By Seth Siditsky

The Preserve is welcoming to people of all ages and continues to find new ways to combine education with adventure, fostering a deep appreciation of our natural world and how native plants need to be a part of our environment.

My kids have been coming to the Preserve their entire lives. As they’ve grown, what they appreciate and notice across the five miles of trails changes. The new interpretative signage on the Penn’s Woods trail allowed us to talk about tardigrades while we explored the moss garden and met a curious toad. The new information on the trail provided an educational and immersive experience on our way to the R.O.T. Plot to climb on the logs, imagine a kitchen and play with the sweetgum tree balls.

The umbrella magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) with its almost tropical-shaped leaves, a look for small pawpaw (Asimina triloba) fruit on the trees around the New Pond and admiring the flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) were all great destinations on our way to Sycamore Hollows on the Bucks County Trail for a game of hide-and-seek before a quick run through the Green Labyrinth and along Pidcock Creek. Visiting the bird observatory allowed for some quiet time to relax and listen for the woodpeckers, wrens and chickadees.

For everyone to have a safe and enjoyable visit, the Preserve offers some tips:

  • Stay on trails, avoid poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and leave the flowers for wildlife and everyone else to enjoy;
  • If you are bringing a stroller, trails like Penn’s Woods, the New Pond and the Meadow Trails make it easier for families with young children to navigate;
  • The paved loop road that runs through the property makes it easy to navigate.

I recommend some upcoming events for families, including the 3rd annual Preserve @ Play on Saturday, June 15, and this month’s Fourth Fridays for Families with naturalist Pam Newitt’s focus on monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and milkweed (Ascelpias spp.). It is also a great time to join the Preserve as a member, since you’ll save $25 on a Family Level Membership through July 5.

Experiencing the outdoors with my kids is an important and special part of my life. As we continue to have more adventures at the Preserve together, I look forward to seeing their curiosity grow and learning with them.

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