The Nature Trail was built in 2002, when the township moved its offices to the current property. The signs and educational information for the original signs were developed for an Eagle Scout project. Neglect and the abuse of time and weather have destroyed most of these markers. The graphics are very well done, and the Recreation Board has suggested redoing this project and renovating the area in the past. This small grant will give us the jump start we need to put this renovation in motion.
These nineteen individual markers will be combined into a large trail map that will be put under Lexan (a clear polycarbonate sheet) on a kiosk, at the entrance of the trail adjoining the parking area. From here, small maps will be available to follow the trail and find the plants as they come into season. Small, numbered markers will be used along the trail to help locate individual plants. A downloadable map and educational materials will be made available on the Township web site for leaders, parents and walkers to prepare for walks ahead of time.
The youngest children to the oldest adults will be able to learn from finding the markers on the trail. The physical activity will be part of the experience, and other discoveries of their own will be found along the way. This is an area with wildlife, a small stream and wetlands. Fun facts will be on the maps that hikers can match to their stops. Activities can be expanded on by teachers and parents.
In time, the Nature Trail is planned to be the north most trail head for the Ligonier Valley Trail and Bikeway. We think this combination of outdoor nature activities and physical fitness through walking and biking will provide years of learning and enjoyment for all ages.