Scenic USA - Pennsylvania

Powdermill Nature Preserve

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Powdermill Nature Preserve - Rector, Pennsylvania

Photo by Ron Lutz II
Ron's Panoramio Gallery

     Located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, the Powdermill Nature Preserve came to life with a donation of eleven tracts of land that totaled about 1100 acres. Now in place for over 50 years, this biological research station of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History has grown to twice its original size.
     Here on the reserve, scientists, students and guests may study natural populations of plants and animals in a variety of setting and ecosystems. Powdermill Run, one of the few unpolluted streams in the area, flows through acres of woodlands, open fields and thickets. Over the half century of existence, the preserve has redeveloped a protective growth of vegetation, serving as a refuge for rare plants and aquatic life. Outlined in 1948 plan for a natural laboratory, Dr. M. Graham Netting believed Ligonier Valley to be the finest natural valley in western Pennsylvania. Now, researchers from around the world conduct both long and short term studies in botany, herpetology, zoology and ornithology at the refuge. The Powdermill Avian Research Center is home to one of the longest running bird banding station in America. With the wellbeing of every bird a top priority, the banding station has easily passed a milestone of a half million bird bandings.

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