I am lucky to have a beautiful #preserve so close to where I live. Actually, I have about 8 within a 10 mile radius of me, but #Stroud Preserve is the closest. The parking lot is small and will be filled to the max on certain gorgeous days, but most of the time there isn’t a problem getting a spot. You can’t have a picnic on Preserves, so I think it keeps a manageable flow of crowds just coming for a beautiful walk or #run…and no mountain bikes, but #dogs can be walked here as long as they stay on a leash and are cleaned up after. This particular Preserve is under the care of Natural Lands, a non-profit organization that saves open space in Eastern PA and Southern NJ. It is also the home to a stone #farmhouse built in 1740 by Thomas Worth, protected watersheds that provide drinking water to the area, and the only site in PA that is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Monitoring Program.
This preserve was used as a cattle #farm before becoming the Georgia Farm of Dr. Morris Stroud, and is an example of how land and trees are cleared away for any form of agriculture. I’m not sure if the produce from the farm can be used for humans or animals, but the upkeep of the space allows whatever had been planted to keep producing. The point of a preserve is to protect #natural land, and I thought everything should have been cleared, with trees and native plant life being re-planted. But then I read on the website that it is used to evaluate how land use and human practices affect water quality, so it made sense for why we pass farm #fields on our walk. There are various trails to choose from, all of which begin on a very open and dusty path providing no shade, so really hot days may provide an exasperating experience. However for most other days, it can be a freeing experience from the day to day confinement of #adulting.
There are varying degrees of difficulty to the color coded #trails, but easily manageable for those that stay active… for those that aren’t as active there are hills that will make you question your life expectancy, as was the case with myself. I am working on it though, and plan to be Super Woman within a couple of years, so in the meantime I truly appreciate the scenic views as I catch my breath. Spending time with my #son without distraction is one of the things I love most about our #walks in parks, preserves, or gardens. While we may not talk the entire time, I cherish just having his company and sharing our personal space as we walk side by side. Before I know it he’s going to be off living his own adult life, and I’m only going to be left with these memories of his #childhood…so I’m trying to make the most of it.