Code Orange Work Day At Nolde Forest Improves Trails; KTA Volunteers Hike To Magma Formation And Tour Mansion
by Ed Lawrence, KTA Trail Care Chair
Three stalwarts of the KTA Trail Care Program, Tony Robbins, Tom Bastian, and Ed Lawrence, joined Center Manager Lisa Miller, DCNR ranger Chris, and four local volunteers on Saturday, July 15th, for a Code Orange work day at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center south of Reading. After a preliminary safety talk, a crew of Tony, Tom, and Chris set off to install a set of steps to ease a transition point between the Boulevard Trail and the Watershed Trail. The rest of the group headed to the Sawmill parking area where they installed water bars on the Kohout Trail and tackled drainage issues on the Beech Trail, which included putting in new water bars, cleaning out and extending existing bars, removing impediments to water flowing naturally off the trail and outsloping some sections of trail. At the end of the afternoon the participants had the satisfaction of knowing that all the items on Lisa's "to do" list for the day had been completed.
After the tools had been put away, the KTA trio headed up Coffee Pot Hollow to visit a rock formation that had been featured in a recent issue of the Appalachian Mountain Club's magazine Outdoors. The article, “Rocky Routes: 8 Geology Hikes”, showcased the Nolde Forest site as one of 8 unique spots in the Northeast where the natural landscape suddenly reveals 'dramatic geological history'. In this case it is a sharp out-cropping of diabase rising 15 feet above the forest floor. Diabase is a volcanic rock that, in molten form, squeezed up through cracks in sedimentary layers 200 million years ago but never made it to the surface. The hardened stone was eventually exposed over centuries as softer layers of shale and sandstone gradually eroded around it.
Returning from viewing a wonder of natural creation, the crew was then given a personal tour of the impressive Nolde Mansion which now houses the Center's offices. The Tudor-style, stone building with slate roof and distinctive ironwork details is a magnificent building to see from both the outside and the inside. To cap things off, and to show her appreciation for their work, Lisa also presented the three amigos with DCNR Conservation Volunteer shirts and hats. It was a Code Orange day that could not have been better.