Oct. 19 hike: Walk where a community’s idea changed things for good

Community

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, just outside Stroudsburg, Pa., encompasses more than 6,000 acres – a safe haven for birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals large and small. Included in that haven are the headwaters of Cherry Creek.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, Brodhead Watershed Association and the Friends of Cherry Valley will co-host a hike to this secluded spot folded deep in a wooded, steep-sided hollow.

The Friends of Cherry Valley, now headed by Deb Schuler, over a decade ago embarked on the mission to protect Cherry Valley and its creek.

“It started with an idea,” Schuler said. “For generations, farmers and other landowners had safeguarded the clean waters and unique natural habitats of Cherry Valley. But things were changing.” Habitat was being broken up. Pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals were damaging land and water, birds and mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Local residents, conservationists and conservation groups united to protect the valley’s history, agricultural heritage and natural resources. BWA received a grant to develop a River Conservation Plan for Cherry Valley. The Friends of Cherry Valley was born. The idea of a national wildlife refuge here took root.

In December 2008, with an act of Congress, Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge was approved. Now, it’s the home of 80 threatened and endangered species.

A hiker can go a long way and never find anywhere more refreshing than this idyllic spot, brought to you by a community whose idea changed things for good.

IF YOU GO

This hike is a partnership between Friends of Cherry Valley and Brodhead Watershed Association. It is a challenging loop hike of about two miles. Very rocky underfoot and often steep.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019

WHERE: Cherry Valley. Directions will be given upon registration.

COST: Free, but registration is required.

INFORMATION: Call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727; email info@brodheadwatershed.org. For information about this and other hikes in the free Get Outdoors Poconos series, go to brodheadwatershed.org/gopoconos. The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

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