Events at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

There are several events and volunteer days coming up at Lehigh Gap Nature Center. Some of the programs require REGISTRATION. Read on.

March 26 — Spring Clean-up. 9:00 a.m.  to noon. This is a big volunteer day for working on lots of spring chores at the Refuge. We depend greatly on our volunteer base and this is a great opportunity to help us out. (Rain Date — April 2)

April 23 — Earth Day Celebration
7:00 a.m. Bird Walk at LGNC. All are welcome.
9:00 a.m. to noon. Native Plant workshop. REGISTRATION REQUIRED. This is a 3-hour workshop designed to teach you about native plants and how to create habitat gardens. We will be both indoors for a presentation and outside in the gardens. Come prepared to do some weeding  and also to learn about the native plants. Each participant will receive a book, a plant to take home and use in your garden, and a gift certificate to Edge of the Woods native Plant Nursery. This workshop is FREE to LGNC members and you have first chance to register. Please register as soon as possible — space is limited to 15 people. If more than one person in the same immediate family is coming, that will count as one registration. (See May 4 for another date for the same workshop).

April 30 — Natural History Workshop
8:00 a.m. Birding Workshop for beginners and families. Binoculars are available for those who do not own them. Come out and learn how to identify our local birds and learn about their ecology and behavior.
10:00 a.m. Fly fishing Demonstration by LL Bean. REGISTRATION REQUIRED. This is an opportunity to learn about the ecology and art of catch and release fly fishing. LL Bean will bring fly rods and you will have a chance to try out your casting skills.

May 4 — Native Plant Workshop
6:00-9:00 p.m. REGISTRATION REQUIRED. (Same workshop as April 23 — see description above.)

May 7 — Natural History Hike
9:00 a.m to about noon on the Charcoal Trail. Moderately difficult hike. We will climb over the top of the mountain looking for signs of spring.

May 14 — Second Saturday Bird Walk
7:00 a.m. Good time for warblers and other spring migrants and arrivals.

May 22 — LGNC and LV Audubon Birds Walk at Lehigh Gap.
7:00 a.m. Led by Corey Husic.

All of these events begin at the Osprey House. For the events requiring registration, be sure to register if you intend to come, and be sure to come if you register. If you register and do not attend, you take the place of someone else who wanted to attend – space is limited.

Contact:
Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Autumn events at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Dear LGNC Members and Friends,

This is a reminder of two Autumn events here at Lehigh Gap Nature Center.

1) Oct. 9 — Bird Walk (8:00 a.m.). This will be a special field trip to Bake Oven Knob to observe the hawk migration. It is peak season for Sharp-shinned Hawks and all three falcon species, and every species that passes the lookout is possible on this date. Meet at the Osprey House at 8:00 a.m. to travel to Bake Oven Knob. The field trip will last until about noon, but you are welcome to leave early or stay late if you drive to the Bake Oven Knob parking lot. The hike to the lookout is about half a mile over very rocky terrain. Hiking stick or ski pole is advised if you are not steady on the rocks.
Bring snacks, water, and lots of warm clothing. It often feels 10-20 degrees colder on the lookout than in the valleys below. Please note that there are no snack or restroom facilities at Bake Oven Knob.

2) Oct. 16 — Autumn Refuge Hike (1:00 p.m.). Join us at this most beautiful time of year for a 6 mile hike through the grassland restoration area and out to the Chestnut Oak Trail. Some short steep uphill grades, some rocky trail, and 6 miles long.

In addition, see the announcement below about a free lecture at Moravian College.

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Celebrate the Great Outdoors

Dear Members and Friends,
Carbon County, PA is celebrating the great outdoors with a month-long schedule of events, many of them free of charge and some at Lehigh Gap Nature Center. To see the entire schedule, visit the Carbon County Chamber web site at:
http://www.carboncountychamber.org/
and click on the logo on the lower left for Celebrate the Great Outdoors.

To highlight the events at LGNC, I list them below. Hope you can get out and enjoy some of these events.

Dan
Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Title: Hawk Watching at Bake Oven Knob
Location: Bake Oven Knob (see http://lgnc.org/maps-directions#BOK for directions)
Description: Daily observation of raptor migration along the Kittatinny Ridge
Leader: LGNC interns and volunteers
Come any time throughout the day
When: Daily September 1-30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Title: Birding at Lehigh Gap Nature Center – FREE
Location: Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Description: Birding for warblers and other fall migrants. Meet at the Osprey
House.
When: Saturday, September 18, 2010, 7:00 AM

Title: Butterfly Tagging at Lehigh Gap Nature Center – FREE
Location: Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Description: Monarch butterfly migration workshop. Come learn and help catch
and tag migrating Monarchs. Programs for children through adults. Meet at the Osprey House.
When: Saturday, September 18, 2010, 10:00 AM to Noon

Title: HawkFest at LGNC – FREE
Location: Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Description: Our annual celebration of hawk migration and Appalachian Mountain
ecology. Learn about the annual fall spectacle of hawks and other raptors
migrating along the Kittatinny Ridge and how to identify raptors. Displays include
live raptors and reptiles and amphibians. Meet at BAKE OVEN KNOB parking lot.
When: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Title: Loop Hike on D&L Trail and LGNC Trails
Location: Meeting Place: Osprey House at LGNC. See www.lgnc.org for
directions.
Description: Hike Distance: 6 miles with some moderate uphill walking. Start at
Osprey House heading northwest on the D&L Trail. Hike along the D&L Trail to
Three Ponds Trail. Follow Three Ponds to LNE and Chestnut Oak Trail, back
Prairie Grass Trail and along LNE back to Osprey House.
Meeting Place: Osprey House at LGNC. See www.lgnc.org for directions.
Leader: Jim Gabovitz 610-262-3578 gabby@enter.net
When: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 10:00 AM

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Lehigh Gap Nature Center Events

Dear LGNC Members and Friends,

Our annual summer clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, August 7. I cannot be here that day and we have had some volunteers working to get the Osprey House ready for the hawk count intern, so I am canceling the session. Of course, the gardens always need weeding, so if anyone wants to pull weeds in the new habitat gardens, help yourself.  Some of the weeds may be pretty large by then. Just remember — if you are in doubt, don’t pull it out.

Coming events:

August 14 — Second Saturday Bird Walk. 7:00 a.m. with leader, Bob Hoopes.

August 15-November 30 — Bake Oven Knob Hawk Count, 50th year. Intern or volunteer counters on the lookout every day.

September 12 — Second Saturday Bird Walk. 7:00 a.m. with leader, Jeff Frantz

September 18,19 — MIgration Festival weekend. More on this later.

Please note that our new visitor and education center is open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily staffed by a wonderful crew of volunteer Information Specialists. We always need more help, so if this is something you would enjoy, let us know.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Dan

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Grand opening held for visitor-education building at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center

http://www.tnonline.com/node/118679

Grand opening held for visitor-education building at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Reported on Friday, July 23, 2010

By ELSA KERSCHNER ekerschner@tnonline.com


A reception was held with tables of food and beverages outside on the porch of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on July 16 for the grand opening of its visitor-education building. Chairs were filled in the “great room.” The walls were lined with people and the hallway was crowded.

Bob Hoopes, as master of ceremonies and a board member, gave an overview of the center. Members of the board were recognized: Michal Kubik, Ronald Kline, Kathy Romano, George Beam, Fritz Brock, Anita Collins, Jeff Frantz, Geryl Gritz, Diane Husic, Bill Mineo, Grant White and director Dan Kunkle.

“Without the teamwork and vision this building would not be here and we could not have saved the 750 acres as the Lehigh Gap Wildlife Refuge. How we got here began in 2001,” he said. Three goals were set secure the land, revegetate it and open the refuge for public access and passive recreation. A master site plan was drawn up.

The mission became “to preserve wildlife and habitat through conservation, education, and research for the benefit of the earth and its inhabitants.” He said they believe in the power of the citizen activist and wisdom of the citizen scientist.

The master site plan is being revised to incorporate the possibilities opened by the new building. It has an expanded research library, a laboratory to train young minds and office space.

The new building is green by design with geothermal heating and cooling, compact fluorescent and LED lights that turn off automatically when a room is not in use, paints and finishes with few volatile compounds, insulated concrete forms on the lower level, cement-board siding, Trex decking, and carpeting with a high percentage of recycled fiber.

Local materials used were slate from Penn Big Bed quarry, native stone and plants in the gardens and compost from Lehigh County.

The main use will be supporting our current and future education programs, said Hoopes.

Michael Jonn was the architect and Alvin Butz the construction manager. Lee Butz said he wanted it to succeed even if his company did not get the manager’s bid.

PPL was the first major corporate contributor. Financial help was received from the Trexler Trust which supported the center over the years to a total of $239,000.

Malcolm Gross from the Trust said they had truly resurrected the environment. They told Director Dan Kunkle to “go for it,” because they liked his honesty and common sense.

Secretary John Quigley of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said the DCNR donated a half-million dollars and got the equivalent of a small state park. He said they were heavily involved with the restoration work, but the ability to provide grants hangs in the balance of the new state budget.

Quigley said he drove the Gap “quite a bit and recalls what it was like.” Kunkle was a delight to work with, and the building is a statement of values he took a Superfund site and made it into a nature center. It shows a belief in our children’s future, said Quigley.

“What a celebration. We hear a lot of good ideas and Kunkle started casting his vision,” said Dennis DeMara of the DCNR. “We look for conservation values of the land and asked, ‘Where’re the trees?'” but there were none. Kunkle was the driver of the project.

Christine Sutjak from Alvin Butz Inc. said the building turned out wonderfully and the community can enjoy nature.

Hoopes said the Delaware & Lehigh Trail group were wonderful partners. Bill Mineo, trail manager at the time, listened to the plan and said it was a great concept. The D&L would help us and it still does.

Elissa Thorne represented the D&L at the grand opening. “We nurture partnerships. We’re there when someone has a vision.” The D&L trail runs along the river outside the center.

Rep. Charlie Dent and Judy Borger accepted a national award in Washington DC on behalf of the center. Dent helped with federal funding.

“I’m glad to be here today,” Dent said. When Kunkle first approached him, the site looked like a moonscape. “I’m glad to be a partner. People for years to come will enjoy what the center has to offer.

Representative Julie Harhart and Keith McCall met in her office and the result was a Department of Community and Economic Development grant.

McCall went to Kunkle and asked, “Are you kidding? You want to revitalize this?” He not only wanted to, but did.

Harhart said she was glad to be a part of the big success story and thanked all the volunteers who helped make it possible.

Scott and Amy Weidensaul of the Pa. Audubon Society live in the shadow of Hawk Mountain. Amy said they are both good friends of the center. “What a morning.”

John James Audubon traveled this area studying birds. Kunkle has urged collaboration along the Kittatinny Ridge. She said she and Kunkle have been working on some funding ideas.

Scott asked people to imagine Lenape canoes coming down the river. He said he was a child of the coal region. “We face so many challenges. See what a small group can do.”

The cheers and applause that met the final speaker, Kunkle, embarrassed him.

“Wow, what a day, this is awesome,” and he set about giving credit where credit is due beginning with Michael Jonn, architect, and Ed Newcomb, fundraiser. Jonn said he was pleased with the way it came out and Newcomb said behind every successful man there is a woman. “Hi, Cheryl,” he said to Kunkle’s wife. “We have a flock of eagles led by Kunkle. We all have an investment in this.”

Kunkle said he was asked about a beam in the great room and said it was for expansion “and we’ll need it.” He said his parents taught him about life and most important is Cheryl. For 35 years they worked together in a partnership that was better than either could do alone, he said. He could not have quit his job at Freedom High School if it had not been for Cheryl.

The board of directors is the best, said Kunkle. They speak their minds but when there is a vote there is always a consensus. Corey Husic of the Naturalist’s Club is working for the center. Marian Tranguch served three internships.

Peter and Carol Kern helped with the library supported by the Hommer Foundation. “Go and see it,” said Kunkle.

There was government support from many places. Cindy Dunn of the DCNR said she enjoys the nature center newsletter, “The Activist.”

Sherry Acevedo of the D&L marched probation kids up the mountain carrying grass seed to plant and see if it would take root.

Washington Township came and fixed the potholes in the road. Supervisor Roy Dengler mowed the grass. Jan Creedon of Lehigh County has been “wonderfully supportive.”

PPL asked what was needed. “We didn’t have to ask.” First Niagara Bank offered help. Linny Fowler was the biggest individual supporter.

The Appalachian and Philadelphia trail groups were ready to help where they could.

Sue Tansit of Edge of the Woods and Green Man Enviroscaping provided native plants and helpful information.

A teacher workshop scheduled for Wednesday was canceled as the teachers offered to help get ready for company.

Kunkle was told, “You know what this building means. It means you are here to stay.”

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Grassland Hike at the Gap

Dear Lehigh Gap Nature Center members and friends,

On Saturday, July 24 we will have a grassland hike at the Gap from 9:00 to noon. We will check out the Prairie area and the plants we planted last year inside and outside deer exclosures as well as looking for other wildflowers and butterflies along the way. Meet at the Osprey House at 9:00.

Bring water — it may be very hot.

Hope to see you at the Gap on Saturday.

Dan

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Three events coming up at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Dear Members and Friends of Lehigh Gap Nature Center,

We have three events coming up at LGNC.

Saturday, July 3 — Incredible Insects, Join us from 9:00 a.m. to noon as we search the refuge for beautiful butterflies and dynamic dragonflies and damselflies. We will visit the ponds and the grasslands as well as the gardens at the Osprey House in search of these insects, learning about their life cycles, ecology, and identification along the way.

Saturday, July 10 — Members’ Picnic. This is a potluck picnic — everyone bring some food to share — for members and guests. The event begins at 5:00 p.m with an open house for the new visitor and education center which is nearly complete. We’ll have dinner around 6:00, and then tour the new habitat gardens and Brandon Everett’s habitat project under the power lines. This will be the first official group in the new building.

Friday, July 16 — Opening Celebration. Beginning at 10:00 a.m we will open the doors of the new building to the public for the first time. At 11:00, there will be a dedication ceremony for our new energy efficient, “green” buildling.

Hope to see you soon at the Gap.

Dan

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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Whip-poor-will Hike and Summer Camp at LGNC

Dear Members and Friends of Lehigh Gap Nature Center,

ON Saturday evening, June 12 we will host our annual Whip-poor-will Hike beginning at 6:00 p.m. This hike is led by Jim Gabovitz of the Allentown Hiking Club and Bob Hoopes of LGNC. We begin by spotting cars at the end point, then hike up the mountain and arrive at the towers on the summit of the ridge in time for sunset. After that, we hike down Translater Lane in the moonlight listening for Whip-poor-wills.

THis is a 6 mile hike that ascends the mountain — a one thousand foot elevation gain. The trail ascends gradually in most p;laces but is rocky and steep for short sections. The trails winds through our re-vegetated grasslands, forest, and the natural savanna on top of the ridge.

There is a chance of rain, so be prepared in case of a shower. The hike will be cancelled if thunderstorms (lightning) are imminent. That decision will be made at the trailhead.

This is a spectacular hike and a fun event. Whip-poor-wills have become less common in recent decades but are still common on the Kittaitnny Ridge near Lehigh Gap. Meet at the Osprey House at 6:00 p.m.

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There are still a few opening in our Young Ecologists Summer Camp. Any student that just finished 6th or 7th grade is eligible. The camp runs daily from 9:00 to 3:00 from June 28 to July 2.

If anyone is interested in the camp, please contact me at this email address or at the phone number below.

Dan

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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The Lehigh Gap Nature Center is looking for some volunteers

The Lehigh Gap Nature Center is looking for some volunteers to staff our information desk in the new visitor and education center. The building is nearing completion, with a July 16 opening anticipated.

We expect to staff our information desk in the new visitor lobby with volunteer “information specialists.” The job will include greeting visitors and providing them with information and answering their questions. You will also answer the phone and staff a small sales shop.

We are planning on 3 or 4 hour shifts, and we are hoping to have plenty of volunteers so you will only need to be here once a week or less (Unless you prefer to be here more often.). There will be weekend and weekday shifts.

Many of you have expressed interest in volunteering and some cannot do some of the more physically demanding work. Here is your opportunity to fit in.

Please let me know if your are interested in volunteering for this important position. WE are setting up some training sessions so you will be comfortable when we open to the public. Thanks.

Dan

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889

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Bird Walk at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Bird walk at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

There will be a bird walk led by Corey Husic on Sunday, May 23 beginning at 7:00 a.m. at the Osprey House. This is a joint program of LGNC and Lehigh Valley Audubon. Families are welcome. Last year on this walk we saw lots of warblers and a pair of River Otters in the ponds.

Dan Kunkle
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
ph/fax 610-760-8889
http://lgnc.org

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