WIND RIDGE – On Sunday, from early morning through mid-afternoon, Mother Nature will throw a garden party on the banks of Enlow Fork of Wheeling Creek. Spring wildflowers are the guests of honor, clusters and carpets of them, blooming in this secluded corner of Greene County. Enlow Creek is stocked with trout and the once deeply rutted dirt road that drops into State Game Lands 302 is now graded and graveled.
Bird watchers can arrive at 7:30 a.m., just as the forest is awakening. They can walk quietly, stop, listen, and then looking through binoculars for the source of that song.
The valley is a nursery for warblers, red winged blackbirds and other species that stay for a season to raise their young. It’s nesting time and territorial songsters are the musical entertainment of the day.
A guided wildflower walk, led by Sister Mary Joy Haywood of the Western Pa. Botanical Society, will leave the parking lot around 10:30 a.m., but flower lovers come and go on their own throughout the day. Haywood’s Conservancy field guide to the wildflowers of Pennsylvania will be on sale, along with snacks, refreshments and a Chinese auction of donated art, outdoor gear and home-grown products to support the walk.
Many photos of the flowers in the guide were taken at Enlow – blue-eyed Marys, trillium, larkspur, twin leaf, trout lily, wild ginger, wild columbine, ramps and Solomon’s seal. Members of the Woodland Owners Association will be on hand to help identify trees.
Artist Jeffery Moyer will be there to discuss landscaping with nature and one of his fused glass garden art sculptures will be on display. At noon, there will be stream exploration with Mark Killar of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
In 1975. Enlow Fork of Wheeling Creek was nominated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources for inclusion in the state’s Scenic River System in its first priority group. It also was included by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in its list of potential natural areas.
Now part of the Commonwealth, State Game Lands 302, Enlow Fork’s natural area, is recognized for its natural features.
When Wheeling Creek Watershed Conservancy was founded in 2000, it adopted the longstanding informal spring walk as one of its watershed projects.
Road markers from Waynesburg will be up along Route 21 to the turn onto Nebo Road, Wind Ridge, and then to Walker Road and Smokey Row Lane that winds down into the game lands.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-499-5774 and leave a message.
For photos and directions visit http://enlowfork.tripod.com.