In January, at the invitation of Friends of Carson Woods, WCAS volunteer naturalists began an inventory of the flora and fauna of Carson Woods in the northeast corner of Lawrence Township. The project will continue through the end of 2002. The 183-acre property, which had been slated for development, was purchased last year by a coalition consisting of government, nonprofits and private citizens. The land comprises a complex of active agriculture, fallow fields, hedgerows, deciduous woodlands, wetlands, an old peach orchard and a former Christmas tree nursery. Farm lanes along perimeters of the fields serve as walking paths.
Friends of Carson Woods want the public to be able to use this pretty and accessible piece of land in a way that protects its habitat values. Already, our inventory team is finding that the complex of habitat types is inviting to birds. Dozens of bluebirds were observed congregating with flocks of house finches one February afternoon. Over-wintering yellow-rumped warblers were also seen. All of our woodpecker species have been spotted in the woods. Spring migration no doubt will bring many more interesting visitors.
The WCAS team will make recommendations based on their findings. We commend the Friends of Carson Woods for their sensitivity to the importance of protecting habitat while providing public access and we are delighted to be working with them on this project.
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