The Yankauer Nature Preserve Series
A Multi Species Collection of Turnings Celebrating Collaboration in the Preservation, Restoration, and Enjoyment of the Natural World Through Education and Action*
*(adapted from PVAS Mission Statement)
Gallery (more work coming soon)
Shown: Eastern red Cedar Pens. See Unique Gifts Under $50 for more information.
About The Yankauer Nature Preserve
Located in Berkeley County, West Virginia, just north of Shepherdstown on Whiting’s Neck Road, the Yankauer Nature Preserve is managed by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) on behalf of the Nature Conservancy, to whom the property was donated in 1967 by Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Yankauer. The Preserve encompasses a total of 104 acres of mostly gently rolling former farmland that is gradually transitioning back to its natural forested state, and features a constantly changing blend of fast-growing shrubs and trees, red cedar glades, and emerging oak forest, as well as a section of wooded limestone bluffs high above the Potomac River. Open to the public during daylight hours, the Preserve provides visitors with about two miles of easy walking trails, including a .2 mile loop that is stroller and wheelchair accessible. See the PVAS website for lists of different plant (at least 105), bird species (including migrating waterfowl and Barred Owls) that may be found at the Preserve. In addition to preserving valuable habitat for wildlife, it is open to the public for hiking, photography, birding, and quiet contemplation. The preserve also serves as the primary field laboratory for PVAS' education programs for children. These programs include school programs, a summer day camp, and programs for scouts and other youth groups. Public programs at the preserve include a spring wildflower festival, and a spring egg hunt for kids. PVAS also uses the preserve to promote conservation awareness, regularly involving community volunteers in such conservation activities as trail maintenance, erosion control, and control of invasive plants. Since 2003, there has been a geocache hidden on the property. The Nature Preserve's boundaries include parts of two early land grants made by Thomas Lord Fairfax in the mid-18th Century; roughly the northern half of the Preserve was originally part of a 400-acre parcel granted to Thomas Caton on October 20, 1750, and the southern half was part of a 236-acre parcel that Lord Fairfax granted to John Carlyle on August 24, 1761. You can read the fascinating history of Dr. and Mrs. Yankauer and their association with and generous donation of the property at the PVAS website.
A Blustery February Day Of Harvesting At Yankauer Nature Preserve
Tipped by PVAS (see below) Land and Watershed Program Manager Bridget Tinsley about some newly fallen and cleared trees, I loaded up the saws and wheelbarrow and spent a few quality hours on the "Kingfisher" Trail at Yankauer Nature Preserve, on a day which featured - by my count, anyway - at least five different types of weather (sunny sky warmth, threatening clouds and wild wind, rain, sleet and snow, for the record). After harvesting some pieces of Eastern Red Cedar by the Pavilion area, I needed to decide which way to go on the trail for downed hardwood. When all was said and done, I'd made the complete circuit with my wheelbarrow twice, was rewarded with specimens of Red Oak and Black Walnut, and would have worked as hard to get the chunks of wood out of there no matter which way I turned. Because I work alone (and am old) I was unable to haul out all that I wanted to; that's alright with me though...any reason to get back to this lovely wild place is a good reason.
The Potomac Valley Audubon Society
PVAS offers a wide range of programs and activities that are aimed at promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world for youth, adults, and families such as field trips to natural areas, summer camps, monthly lectures, school programs and many others. Besides additional information on the Nature Preserves the PVAS co-manages with The Nature Conservancy, you can find information on Membership, Events, Programs, Conservation, Subscription, and the various ways one can SUPPORT PVAS at its website, here. Finally, Two Rivers Turnings is proud to partner with PVAS, providing both a discount to Members and a charitable donation of a portion of proceeds of sales of Yankauer wood items.