Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chestnuts and Woodlots

Master Gardener Lionel Lemery discusses Chestnuts and Woodlots at Master Gardener Nancy and Larry Miller's property off Warm Spring Road:

Update February 10th - News article from today's Public Opinion can be read here. That link will only be viable for a week or so. Here is a small excerpt:

Six years ago, Lionel Lemery, retired U.S. forester, set out to fulfill Larry Miller's dream of restoring 34 wooded acres in Hamilton Township.

"I love wood," said Miller, a founder of the Cumberland Valley Wood Turners. "I wanted to keep (the woodlot) somewhat pristine and keep it as natural as possible. Wood is a renewable resource, but you have to renew it on a regular basis."

The wooded oasis hugs a tiny tributary of the Conococheague Creek on the valley floor - past the $200,000 new homes and just over the crest of cropland. Mature hickory trees surround a three-acre pond noisy with Canada geese.

Woodpeckers rap on old snaps. Lemery said he's seen a bald eagle, an osprey, deer, turkeys and foxes. Bluebirds nest in the bird boxes he set out. Tires, trash, a migrant camp, utility poles and invasive plants were removed. More than 700 trees of 26 species, including American chestnut, were planted. Old timber was logged.

"Our hope is eventually to make it available to the public for walking and watching wildlife, maybe catch-and-release (fishing)," Miller said. "It takes a while to educate the public with what you're doing. We're trying to make it available in a gradual way so people will come to appreciate what's there. It's a long way to get it to where we want it to be."

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