Trout Run | Back To Conservation

 

TROUT RUN NATURE PRESERVE

Section 1
ABOUT THE PRESERVE

Trout Run Nature Preserve is a 21.4 acre spring-fed wetland and upland ecosystem in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, protected and owned by the Appalachian Audubon Society. It is home to many different kinds of birds, plants and wildlife -a green oasis in an increasingly developed area. The wetland has been classified as an "exceptional value" site, due to the confirmed nesting years ago of a threatened Pennsylvania bird species -the sedge wren, and the sittings of two other "species of concern" in PA, the least bittern and the dickcissel.

Over the years, the land has been used in farming for both pasture and crop production. More recently, the land was threatened by development plans. Residents of the local community and the Appalachian Audubon Society worked together for over 10 years to protect this beautiful stream and wetlands.

Thankfully, their efforts paid off. In 1996, when the Creekstone Manor subdivision was established, Rothman, Schubert & Reed, Realtors, donated this land to Appalachian Audubon. The realtors also provided a financial grant for the protection and educational use of Trout Run.

The Appalachian Audubon Society, with the support of the surrounding community, is working to preserve and improve this valuable meadow wetland and stream, and protect the plants and animals that live here.

Section 2
NATURE TRAILS AND WILDLIFE

Foot trails around the perimeter of the wetlands give you a chance to observe wildlife first hand. The trail to the right of the grassy parking area takes you past the shallow wetland pool and into a delightful wooded area. The short trail to the left of the parking area takes you down to the stream. Across the bridge roadway, a third trail meanders around a large storm retention area, through upland habitat and up a hill overlooking the wetland meadow.

Over 42 bird species have been sighted here. Watch for egrets, mallard ducks, Canada geese, kingfishers, pheasants, and more. Bluebird boxes, owl and kestrel boxes, and duck cylinders have been erected and are monitored regularly. Butterflies and dragonflies flit by in the summertime. Autumn brings with it the sights and sounds of migrating geese and other waterfowl. In winter, watch for praying mantis egg cases and scurrying meadow mice. Tiny ducklings swimming upstream is a familiar springtime sight. Trout and small minnows inhabit the stream when the water level allows. White-tailed deer, red-fox, and other small mammals have been sighted.

An observation blind for viewing wetland wildlife is located on the Merrimac Ave. side of the preserve. You will also find benches for resting or quiet nature observation. Remember to go quietly and slowly if you wish to see wildlife, as noise and movement will alert them to your presence.

Section 3
NATIVE PLANTS AND WILDLIFE GARDENS

Trout Run is home to many different trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Berry and seed-producing plants provide, food, shelter, and a place to raise young for native wildlife. We are actively adding more native plants to those already existing here. This will add further beauty to the preserve, replace non-native and invasive species, and provide more food and shelter for wildlife. By planting trees and shrubs, we can create wooded stream banks, wildlife corridors, and quiet, secluded places.

Wildflowers change with the seasons in our wetland meadow and also provide food and shelter. Visit often to observe nature's changing colors, textures, and fragrances.

Our wildlife demonstration gardens were planted in the spring of 1998. Here you can learn which plants you can use in your own backyard to attract a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Our hummingbird garden includes, red, tubular, nectar-rich blossoms. Brightly-colored composite flowers, along with host plants, attract fluttering friends to our butterfly garden. The bird garden includes plants which ripen into seeds and berries, providing food. There is also a garden showcasing easy to grow and maintain native plants. These plants grow well in our Pennsylvania climate with no spray required for insects and disease -a must if you are attracting wildlife into your garden.

Section 4
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & NATURE EDUCATION

Trout Run Nature Preserve also provides the opportunity for environmental education within the community, on a personal as well as a small group level. Schools, colleges, community groups, & neighbors can use Trout Run for field trips, workshops, nature observation, or research projects. Community educational events are held each year by Audubon, with programs and activities for the whole family.

Planting projects, garden-maintenance, and clean-up projects are just a few of the ways to get involved at Trout Run. Many volunteers, including scouts, students, and neighbors have made outstanding contributions to the preserve. Appalachian Audubon welcomes your help. Please call us or write to us if you would like more information on the preserve, or if you would like to get involved.

 

Section 5
WHAT IS A WETLAND & WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

A wetland is a transitional area between land and deepwater habitats where water covers the soil or keeps it saturated for at least 2 or 3 weeks during the growing season. Wetlands cover about 2% of Pennsylvania. More than 80% of the animals on PA's list of endangered & threatened species depend on wetlands during their life cycle. They are also home to most of PA's rare, threatened, or endangered plants.

* Wetlands temporarily store, filter, and clean runoff water from surrounding land, trapping sediments and excess nutrients and improving water quality. Trout Run Preserve helps to clean the water that flows into the Yellow Breeches Creek.

* Wetlands reduce nutrient-laden agricultural waste from entering the watershed.

* Wetlands provide valuable food & habitat for birds, animals, and plants.

* Wetlands provide flood control during periods of excess precipitation by storing water

and releasing it at a slower rate downstream.

* Wetlands reduce erosion and increase soil stability.

* Wetlands provide educational and recreational opportunities. Section 6

YOU CAN HELP US

* Stay on the trails. This prevents disturbing wildlife, and protects plants, animals, and wildflowers.

* Leave your pets behind. Their noise, movement, and scent can scare wildlife. Free-roaming cats prey on birds & other small animals.

* Do not remove or destroy any plants or wildlife.

* Leave no trash or other evidence of your visit to the preserve. A picnic table is provided for your enjoyment, but take away anything you bring in.

* No bikes or motorized vehicles. Day use only - Sunrise to sunset.


Views of Appalachian Audubon's Trout Run Nature Preserve

 

Directions from Camp Hill: Route 15 South. Right (West) on Lisburn Road at Lisburn Interchange. Right on Stumpstown Road. Preserve will be on your left.