GWVAS Projects

The Audubon Trail at the Seven Tubs Nature Area

In the early 1990s, the GWVAS partnered with Luzerne County’s Tubs Advisory Council, whose members oversaw the creation of a then new Luzerne County park known as the Seven Tubs Nature Area. GWVAS members developed an approximately 1.5-mile loop trail at the Tubs. In 1992, the GWVAS was recognized for its efforts at the Seven Tubs with a “Take Pride in Pennsylvania” Award “In recognition of outstanding contributions to the stewardship of Pennsylvania’s public lands and cultural resources.”

In 2014, ownership of the Seven Tubs Nature Area was transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and placed under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Now a part of the Pinchot State Forest, the Seven Tubs is managed and maintained by DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry and  the “Audubon Loop” trail remains a popular hiking trail.

Click the link for a virtual tour of the Audubon Trail.

Houck Farm Conservation Easement

Also in the early 1990s, the GWVAS began assisting with the development of a conservation easement for an eighty-acre farm in Nescopeck Township in southern Luzerne County. The easement was finalized in 2000, and for several years after the establishment of the easement, the GWVAS served as steward of the property until those duties were transferred to the easement holder, the North Branch Land Trust, in 2016. Although the farm is privately owned, it will be protected as open space in perpetuity even as the ownership changes hands.

Moon Lake Recreation Area

Another former Luzerne County park that was transferred to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to become a part of the Pinchot State Forest is the Moon Lake Recreation Area. Located off PA Route 29 near Ceasetown, the 942-acre Moon Lake Recreation Area is comprised of grasslands, mixed forests, and a 48-acre spring-fed lake. This variety of habitats makes the Recreation Area a great birding area for all levels of expertise, at all times of the year, and the various trails and roads make many areas accessible to persons with disabilities.

In 2017, the GWVAS formed a partnership with DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry to enhance existing habitats, to create other suitable habitats for birds, and to promote the Moon Lake Recreation Area as a birding destination. Several projects have been completed, and others are planned. Among the completed projects are the installation of nest boxes for Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and American Kestrels, and a GWVAS-created bird checklist, copies of which are available at a kiosk. Among the planned projects are a pollinator garden, birding field trips, and astronomy nights. This project is ongoing. Project participants are welcome, and anyone who would like to become involved with this project can Contact the GWVAS.

Reclaimed Mine Lands

GWVAS members have been assisting DCNR Bureau of Forestry biologists with bird censuses on reclaimed mine lands in Plymouth Township, Luzerne County, as well as offering advice on habitat management for species such as Golden-winged Warbler on high-elevation reclaimed mine lands. This project is ongoing.

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