Written by Carmelita Rosner
Do you need a place for some self care? A spot where you can clear your head and take some time to yourself?
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is an oasis for all, from the pair of bald eagles that’ve been nesting here for over 10 years to the people who come for their daily dose of nature therapy. Birds, butterflies, groundhogs, turtles, and more call the Refuge home and visitors can walk and bike the marked trails amongst them. Many people come with their dogs, fishing poles, cameras, bikes, or binoculars, and all are welcome.
The Biology team at the Refuge works to make the Refuge the healthiest it can be for all the things that live and visit here. Wildlife surveys are conducted on birds, frogs, butterflies, bees, deer, bats, turtles, mussels and plants so we know how habitats are being used and how to improve them. Biology here means going back to basics, restoring and protecting the native plants and animals that lived here long before Europeans arrived in the 1600’s. European settlers diked and drained much of the original 6,000 acres of low, marshy tidal wetlands and used it for grazing animals. In the last century, the process of urbanization, construction of I-95 and access roads, and use of large tracts for industrial purposes and as sanitary landfills, has reduced the marsh to barely 300 acres today.
Volunteers are always welcome to help with our work! A great way to see what our strong volunteer group, Weed Warriors, are all about is to stop by for a Stewardship Saturday, every second Saturday of every month, 9:00 a.m. to noon. No experience or tools are necessary!
Carmelita Rosner is the Community Engagement Specialist the Refuge.