Humanities Center to host an exploration to Montandon Marsh

William Medeiros, Contributing Writer

On April 16, the University’s Humanities Center will host an event “Exploring Montandon Marsh.”

Claire Campbell, Professor of History, and Jeff Trop, Professor of Geology and Environmental Geoscience, will host the organized nature walk on a trail system in Montandon. Most of the free walk will be on a dry trail along the former canal towpath with an option to explore deep into the marsh area; rubber boots are advised for the wetland option.

Attendees should depart individually at 11 a.m, meeting at the parking lot of the Dollar General along Route 45, in Montandon. Professor Campbell will discuss the human and environmental history of waterways of the Susquehanna Valley during the trip. This includes a canal system that borders the Montandon Wetlands conservation easement. Additionally, Professor Trop will summarize the site’s geology, including the recent history and diverse life associated with the wetlands and sand dunes, as well as threatened spadefoot toads. 

Attendees will have an option to explore deep into the marsh area, or simply stick to the dry trail area. If you plan to explore the wetland option, be sure to wear rubber boots. 

“This event is part of the ‘Living Landscapes’ program, which is a partnership between the Humanities Center and the Merrill Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy, designed to draw attention to the work of the Conservancy, the rich environmental history of this region, and the ways in which the humanities and the natural sciences can work together to raise public awareness of the health of our local landscapes,” Professor Campbell said.

Professor Campbell said that the Humanity Center’s first event was a bicycle ride along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail last November, which was followed by a guided tour of the Koons Trail in Mifflinburg. 

“This event visits the Conservancy’s most recent acquisition, an important wetland in Montandon that borders the old route of the Pennsylvania West Branch Canal and a working quarry,” Professor Campbell said. “The canal ran along the Susquehanna for much of the nineteenth century and is a wonderful artifact of the industrial era in this region. So I’ll be talking a bit about the canal and what it represents, while Prof. Trop will be talking about the natural features of the wetland and the role of the Conservancy in its stewardship.” 

Professor Campbell reiterated that all students should feel welcome and can keep an eye out for these public environmental humanities events sponsored by the Humanities Center, like Living Landscapes and Nature’s Explorers (with the Children’s Museum).

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