The inauguration of the WheatonArts and Cultural Center Nature Trail was held in May of 2017. For several years leading up to the opening of the trail, our members, WheatonArts staff, and corporate supporters prepared an old small-gauge railroad track for pedestrian use. Volunteers put up nesting boxes for bluebirds, purple martin gourd racks, a chimney swift tower, and wood duck, bat, and prothonotary warbler boxes on the Center’s 45-acre campus. Collaborators constructed snake hibernacula and brush piles, planted over 250 trees, dug vernal pools, leveled the railroad bed, and removed truckloads of trash. CU Maurice River then created interpretative signage along the trail. This includes flora identification signs with links for more details on each plant, and larger wayside exhibits that explore a host of topics to be explored along the way. Each sign provides facts on a topic and then ways in which an individual can make a difference by his own actions under a “You Can Help” heading. The Child Family Center, which houses Millville’s public preschool’s yard, also connects to the Trail, offering the children another learning opportunity. So who knows what one might find as he meanders! The trail is a celebration of what artists and naturalists have known for millennia: “Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.” – Cicero.
There are opportunities to help with the upkeep of the trail. CU will be repairing nesting boxes, enhancing habitat, maintaining the signs and the path, and planting and trimming trees. If you are interested in becoming involved, please call the office at 856-300-5331.
The signs can be viewed here in English and Spanish.
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